Fear can talk you out of doing just about anything. Fear is a lying bastard. It plays on any insecurity and anxiety that you might have.
I distinctly remember publishing my very first novel, Ivy. I also remember getting a copy for myself because I was suddenly hit with the fear no one would buy it. And I wanted at least one sale.
Fear almost kept me from putting it out. Ivy was my first NaNoWriMo success several years ago. I didn’t think I could finish a novel. But I kept telling myself to stop doubting. I could do it.
Fear does that. It paralyzes you into not trying. If I don’t try, I can’t fail.
And it’s all a mental game.
I think in so many aspects of my life. Combating fear has often been the hardest part. I have definitely talked myself out of even attempting things.
It’s something I want to do better at in 2020.
How about you?
Post National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I’m often drained and exhausted. And while, I found myself tire and definitely in need of a break in December. It wasn’t the same.
I didn’t feel defeated or emotionally wrung out like I did in 2017 or 2018.
This NaNo, I reveled in writing for the first time in over twelve months.
Between November 2018 and November 2019, only two things changed. I wrote a story I’d wanted to write for over a year and a half. But more importantly, I had more of an outline than I’d ever used before.
I read (well, skimmed) Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. I used a bastardized version of the beat sheet to time my chapters out. And I found it helped a great deal with pacing and not writing too quickly (one of my greatest sins as an author.)
I also outlined the who, what, where, why and when. I didn’t actually have an outline so much as putting down the details for the victim, several suspects, and the killer. It helped keep track of them all, which is important in a cosy mystery.
What I also enjoyed was writing an autistic, asexual main character who happened to have an asexual love interest. I’m going to enjoy exploring their connection more as the series continues.
I had the most enjoyable experience with NaNo ever.
And I definitely believe it showed on the page.
Did you take part in NaNo?
So, I had the brilliant idea to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) once again last month.
And, I won!
I’d dance like Meryl, but I’m so damn tired. My brain melted into a pile of goo the second I’d typed out The End. December will hopefully be a quieter month, even though I have two novels to edit. Editing is slightly easier than writing, but I still I loathe it.
My NaNoWriMo novel, One Last Heist, turned out brilliantly. It had all the twists and turns I’d hoped for, and some I never expected. It’s now in the hands of my capable betas, and I won’t worry about it for a little while.
My relationships with friends and family appear to have survived the madness. I did have to bribe my dog with many treats to forgive me for being chained to my desk. =) NaNo can be a trying adventure with words.
This year the words flowed far better than they have any other year. I’ve participated in the November madness several times. Each one feels a bit different. One Last Heist definitely had my muse’s full attention, and I didn’t necessarily struggle with my daily goals with the exception of one day early in the month.
I can’t wait to share Mack & Toshiro’s story with everyone next year.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through NaNo is I can’ only manage it once a year. I’m never going to be an 8k word a day author. I barely manage 800 to 1000 words on an average day. It’s more about keeping myself steadily making progress.
But once a year in November, I indulge in a bit of insanity, and some of my best work has come from it. (After the Scrum, The Caretaker, and now One Last Heist.)
And now, I can take a nap…several naps.
Did you take part in the NaNo madness? How did you do?