Nanowrimo 2019...or not
This year, I didn’t bother to sign up for Nanowrimo. However, I have been eliminating things in my life to free up my already busy schedule to make time for more writing. When I was working part-time and had a bunch of side gigs in order to make ends meet, finding time to write was really, really hard. That is changing for me, though. I had a goal to write more in November, just not every day. And I plan to meet that goal.
So, when I stumbled upon the “Nano or Not” November Challenge on Instagram from @juliascottwrites and @btleditorial, I thought, “There we go. That’s me.”
I knew it wasn’t going to be something that I remembered to do every day. I’ve found that taking time to plan and write each of these posts takes too much time that I want to use to write. So, I wrote this out in advance and just got the whole month out of the way.
1) November writing goals
To just get some more writing done. I felt confident about meeting this goal.
2) Introduce yourself
What? Oh, I’m Bex, for those who don’t know. I like books. Obviously.
3) Introduce your project
I have two! Dear Gen, a nonfiction memoir/biography of my great-grandparents, and The Lilac Bottle - or The Lavender Bottle, title is a work-in-progress as well - a women’s contemporary fiction novel.
4) How you plan (or not)
Hahahahah! Hahahaha! Ha! Ha…oh, or not. Yeah, I don’t plan. Total pantster. If I have an idea for a scene, I write it down. Then I write down more scenes, often not in order. Then I fill in the in-between. For the first book I finished entirely - my abandoned crime-against-humanity self-published attempt - the first scene I wrote was actually in the middle of the book. Then I wrote the beginning and filled in the blanks to the middle, then wrote to the end.
5) Favorite place to write
My bed. #sorrynotsorry
Side note: I read in Julia Flynn Siler’s book “The House of Mondavi” about French winemaker Philippe de Rothschild who loved working from his bed, and had one custom made to be the most comfortable to do paperwork in. There was even a photo of him in the book doing business in said custom bed. #goals
6) Introduce your MC
For this, I’ll focus on the MC of my fiction wip: Meet Moira. Lavender farmer. She was originally a lilac farmer, but I was told that lavender has a longer season and more uses…basically, she grows flowers. Blonde, tan, think Blake Lively. Her favorite thing to wear is cut-off jean shorts and muck boots and her hair up in a bun. Her hobby is making homemade perfume and other products from her lavender. Although she is devoted to her twin sister and grandma, she has a yearning for a world beyond her dusty Southern California small town…which is why she’s always cutting out travel articles from magazines.
7) Word count check-in
On November 5, between what I already had in brainstorming and adding on to what I had, I made a 2,000 word chapter! 😊
8) Writing fuel (snacks)
Coffee with frou-frou creamer. That’s it.
9) Day off, keep writing!
10) Your Nano/writing journey
See intro above.
11) Introduce your world
My world? Or my character’s world? On this topic, I have a confession: When it comes to world building in writing…I’m really terrible at it. I don’t care for it. I know for other writers, world building is why they write. Not me. Which is probably why I’m such a bad fantasy writer.
So I stick to nonfiction and general fiction, where the world is essentially already established and I just have to write characters that fit in that world. It’s much less work.
12) Morning vs. night writing
I’m a morning person, so I always do my best writing in the morning. I hardly ever write at night. I’m often too drained and exhausted from the day’s activities to muster any creative juice to write.
(However, I am writing this at night, so sometimes, a writer’s got to do what a writer’s got to do.)
13) Trad vs. Indie publishing
Both have their perks, but I think I lean more toward indie and small press publishing. I’m really fascinated to see how indie publishing has grown over the years, and I guess I like the idea of having a little more control of publishing my book. It’s a lot more work, though.
14) Word count check-in
This blog post is currently approximately 800 words.
15) Day off, keep writing
16) Writing buddy shout-out
To all the writers at Manzanita Writers Press.
17) Favorite genres
Romance - fiction and nonfiction, memoir, women’s contemporary fiction, humor.
18) Dedicated to…
If I could, I’d dedicate all of my books to the Viking, who is at the top of my list of people who support my writing.
19) Books that inspire you
Oh man, there’s so many! However, I will say that, specifically, memoirs by women who have travelled to a foreign country and found love - either in a partner or the country or themselves - are ultimately the stories that inspire me the most. Top three favorites: “Paris Letters” by Janice MacLeod, “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes, and “I have Iraq in my Shoe” by Gretchen Berg.
20) Musical inspiration
My favorite Pandora station is currently Elle King radio, but I’ve recently started a My Chemical Romance station and I’ve found it inspiring, as well. I like my music to be a little bit country and a little be emo, like me.
21) Word count check-in
Over 900 words in this post so far. How’re you all doing?
22) Day off, keep writing!
23) Why do you write?
I have no idea anymore. I originally started writing because I loved reading and drawing so much. I thought it would be a natural progression - it wasn’t. But I’m getting better at it. And now it’s something I do so much for work and for fun, it’s just a part of my life now.
24) Hobbies (not writing)
Reading and drawing, although I don’t draw as much as I once did. Ranching isn’t really a hobby.
Aside from that, I have no hobbies...except hanging out with my cats. Does that count?
25) Project aesthetic
For The Lilac Bottle, think “Under the Tuscan Sun” meets “Monte Carlo” meets a Shakespeare tragedy. If that makes sense.
26) Favorite writing advice
“You have time to write.”
27) Favorite scene
From The Lilac Bottle? Not sure yet. From Dear Gen, I have a soft spot for a scene I wrote where I imagine traveling back in time to meet Gen for a brief moment. It was hilarious and such a joy to write.
28) Thankful for…
My current day job. No, seriously. It’s the job that’s enabling me to write much more and still pay my bills and manage to put a little aside for savings.
29) Day off, keep writing
30) How to stay motivated
Follow other authors on social media and try to go to writer’s group when you can. I find all kinds of motivation from other writers, and I hope I do the same.
Also, binge watching House Hunters International motivates me as well.
31) Wrap it up!
So, there you have it. Nano or not, this is the writing overview of November for me. This post has about 1300 words (so far). I also managed to sort out my brainstorming and add over 22,000 words on The Lilac Bottle manuscript. Huge improvement. I reached my writing goal for November, which was to write more, and I’m happy with that.