Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March mini-NaNo, one week to go!

Oh coffee, oh my coffee, oh I am so tired. Very little sleep had last night. It's not Clementine's fault entirely. I do keep staying up to the wee hours painting, knowing full well a certain baby has no intention of sleeping in in the morning. But I must have those wee hours if I'm going to get anything done. But then I'm a zombie in the morning. A zombie with coffee breath (which, I suppose, is better than a zombie with brain-breath, which is the usual flavor of zombie breath, right?)

So, how did it go this week, writers??? We only have one week left, but I'm telling you right now that I, at least, will be rolling this over into April, and probably into May as well. (And June, July, etc etc.) Join me if you will. My week was decent. Words were written, progress made. It was also a week full of distraction and other pressing work, and it could have been more inspired, but that's how it goes. I suppose painting leeched off some of my writing inspiration, proving that there is only a finite amount of creative energy in any given day. No, actually, I don't think that is true. How much creative energy is there in a day? For me it depends on how the work is going. If it's going well, the energy is infinite. Like Salman Rushdie's Haroun & the Sea of Stories, it is like opening a faucet that connects to an ocean. It'll just keep coming and coming. But if the work falters, if the work dares to suck, then the energy wanes. What is finite though is TIME.

Tell me how you're doing. It's such a great motivator to know you're plugging away too!

Here's this week's Mr. Linky. Let's all set reasonable but ambitious goals for this week, and really kick our butts to meet them. Yes? Determine a reward for yourself in advance. Hm. What's my reward going to be if I meet my goal? Cupcake? Day off for a hike in the Gorge? (gee, which one of those is healthier?) How about bringing cupcakes on a hike in the Gorge? Yeah, that sounds great! Okay, that's my self-bribe. You?

Now, for inspiration this week, some quotes from the great Ray Bradbury:

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what your write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for."

"You fail only if you stop writing."

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality can not destroy you."

and one from Rumi:

"Come, come, whoever you are.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come. Come again. Come."


Johari said...

Didn't finish the draft over the past week like I hoped. Here's to working really hard this week and to not getting too distracted! :o)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh, I LOVE those Ray Bradbury quotes!! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Have you ever seen this?

I hope you find the faucet that connects to the ocean. :)

Sophia said...

I'm with you on keeping on at this till the mother's done, even though I'm realising I am not in love with this story.

Right now, the finished product is the end post I'm working towards but it's the journey that's the real goal. Keeping writing daily, specifically making it a habit to write in the mornings, is a big motivator. So, too, is finding out what it is about writing that I enjoy (descriptions of people, their actions, what people think those actions mean, what they're doing when they're talking) that I can lump together and cultivate into a story full of those things. And what it is I struggle with so I can consciously try to get better at it/them if it/they can't be avoided altogether.

I've already learned, and had reiterated to me, that if I don't go to sleep before 11pm(!) then I have to seriously force myself to get the words out the next morning. Or maybe that's just because it's the last week?

I'm curious about whether writers who have other creative pursuits have the same issue of a 'finite amount of creative energy in any given day'? I've found that I struggle to maintain both writing and art, I either focus on one or the other even though I am conscious of having free time where I could be doing the 'other thing'.

Alysa Stewart said...

Hmmm, what shall I reward myself with if I do this? It's got to be good. Oh! A haircut. I want one of those! I will have a haircut and a custard cone if I can get this thing done by next Wed. Dang! Now I want to do it!

Lacy said...

I have been noticing that my emotions have been influencing how much and how excited I am to write. Does anyone have any advice on how to get over what I am feeling and just do it? Is it one of those fake it till you make it issues?

My mini nano will for sure be lasting into April maybe May. Go, Go, Go until I finish.

Amber Lough said...

I am going to be rolling over into the next month, as well. I took the last week off because I was getting too, well, CLOSE to my book. (I have no idea how to explain that other than say I was looking at it cross-eyed.) Tomorrow I'm flying to my parents' house, where they can watch the kids and I can write write write.

Yat-Yee said...

Almost reached the goal I set last week. I plan to finish it TODAY, even though it's a snow day and the kids are at home. Somehow....

Louise said...

Write only what you love, and love what you write!
Thanks so much for that link, Stephanie! I just watched the Ray Bradbury interview. It's amazing.It made me want to a happy,good way (-:
Lacy, I know what you mean about your emotions effecting how excited you are to write. Lately, I just do it anyway. Even if I don't feel inspired. It helps me to think,"Oh, first draft. It doesn't have to move the world. It's just getting the story down." Yay for shitty first drafts!!!

Laini, I'll definitely be rolling into April with you. April...already! I got lots of words done this week but I don't know if I'm going to hit the end of the first draft by next Wed..and that was my original goal. I am working on my first post for my blog...I'm still aiming to have a blog by end of March....Ulp!!
Cupcakes in the gorge sounds brilliant. I think I'll eat muffins and dark Trader Joe's chocolate under a tree at Huntington Gardens. Have been thinking about going there all week the weather's been so nice!
Thanks again, Laini(-:

Carrie Harris said...

I adore Rumi. Seriously.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Great quotes. In the last two weeks, I've written 20,000 words in my new novel. I sort of can't believe it. It's such motivation to be working alongside all these people I admire.

Here's to another exciting week, everyone.

Jes said...

My thanks for the generous and kind feedback last week! I did ditch my story and wrote instead about farm animals, mountain trolls, stars--I sort of followed every 'slutty new idea' that winked its eye.
Then I took the great advice to brainstorm new ideas for the old story. I saw that the old story needed to expand from my original idea--it was just too small. I was shooting for small--trying to find the meaning in stillness and senses--but it got so tight, so sad.
So, though I may keep doodling on the trolls, I'll head back to my story this week and see if I can't put out 4500 words. :)
Thanks again--Alysa, Jennie, Sophia, Laini--busy, lovely women who have far too many crafts and arts and things to do to take time to 'oomph' a new girl up. I am so grateful for the oomphing.

Myrna Foster said...

I reached my goal this week, and it's a happy sort of thing. Finishing my draft in the next week would be a reward in and of itself, but hiking sounds fun. It's Spring Break next week, so the kids and I could tackle The Valley of Fire for my reward. We haven't been there this year.

Thanks for doing this, Laini!

Jennie Bailey said...

Jes, you crack me up! If it makes you feel any better, I've been wandering far off my map. The outline seemed so sure, but I didn't really know my story until I started writing. I have the map tucked in my back pocket. I had to go back to re-outline tonight because I had wandered so far away from my beats. I like where I'm headed, though! I just seem to have created more work for myself.

Laini - those are awesome quotes! I'm going to add one to my facebook status update right now!

My reward will be a trip to the spa! I have a gift certificate to cash in so I'll go pretend I'm rich and hang out in terrycloth robe drinking water with lemon, putting cucumbers over my eyes and getting a nice massage treatment! That's only if I make my goal. Hiking isn't a reward for me, it's a MUST! I'll be hitting the trails at least four times over the next week - I have a dog to tire out so I can get back to my writing. Was that an overshare? Welcome to the World of Jen. I'm turning more and more into my mother every day, which is awesome - unless you are the cashier at the grocery store, retail outlet or Starbucks. I'm sure they could care less about all the little tidbits mom shares with them. ;-)

Happy W.I.P. Week, Everyone!

Sarah said...

3675 words, which isn't 5000, but is better than nothing... I am very stuck. I always seem to hit this at about the 30,000 word mark and, since I lost my confidence/writing mojo, I have been letting it stop me (three unfinished projects at the same stage, anyone?)... But not this time! I am going to take your (brilliant) brainstorming advice, Laini, and hopefully get the love back for this story (and get some direction at the same time). Good luck everyone! x

Sophia said...

@Laini I'm really loving that first Ray Bradbury quote, I'm going to have to put that somewhere I can see it. And thanks for the kind words last week, being called an inspiration was inspiring in itself and *may* have been my facebook status for a few days!

@Jes So glad you are giving the old story a second chance to thrill you and pleased I could help in some small way :)

@Jennie I'm mightily envious of your spa bribe!

Faith Pray said...

Thanks for the challenge! I have tons of work ahead, but feel so much more on track!

Mary Alexandra Agner said...

Not only did I fail to revise anything, I failed to comment on Wednesday about my progress. So, two scenes this week. Persistence!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Laini! We've met a couple times at SCBWI WWA conferences. I love your blog!

I'm working on a new WIP that I'm super excited about. I'm satisfied with my progress this week, but it's not anything like Martha's! Wow!

ChristyG said...

Laini, I can completely relate to your wee-hours creativity with a babe... I am in the same boat. I need that creative alone time late at night, but then my almost-7-month-old son wakes up in the morning to a very groggy mama! I've added some bits & bobs to my zero draft, but I know that this last week will be the real big word count push, since I do everything at the last minute!

jenn said...

Seeing as I'm checking in late, I'm sure it's not a surprise I was behind this week. That quote "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" sums up my week rather well. I had a house guest last weekend and could only manage a few hours of revising in the two days before she arrived and planned to balance that out to meet my goal by devoting full time to writing after she left, but I woke up Monday morning feverish and sick, sick, sick which continued through the week. I'm back to writing today (reread some of the stuff I tried to do while sick and am glad I stopped because as I suspected, it's garbage and I've rewritten it) and made an ambitious goal for next Wednesday because I'm so far behind where I wanted to be. Nothing to do but to keep moving forward though. So I'll be rolling over into April with you too, Laini.