This post was created and scheduled ahead of time as I will actually be traveling to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains when it goes live. My friend, Linda and I are going to spend the weekend writing our NaNoWriMo novels surrounded by the magnificence of mountains and spectacular views. Our accommodation is a log walled lodge with a roaring fireplace, perfect for sitting beside with laptop and a glass of wine. As you can see from the photo it is a stunning setting.
We will explore the surrounding area on short walks to refresh mind and body and may do some sightseeing as well – it depends on how the muse is performing. Escaping to indulge in my writing is always a treat and one I rarely (if ever) pass by.
You are not a writer of you do not write. Find the time – even if it’s 500 words, a short story or a paragraph. Novel’s don’t write themselves. Erin Niumata.
So how about a prompt about escaping to indulge in your writing?
Describe your perfect retreat, space or venue for writing without interruption.
For those of you who have made the commitment to this mad, exciting, panic inducing challenge – I say good luck, may your muse always be at your shoulder and your words flow smoothly upon your page.
To find those extra minutes in the day to write is tricky to be sure but it is a mind set. Do you have a lunch hour? Can you slip away whilst your family is watching TV? Does it really matter if the slow cooker is the only means of cooking for the month?
I know I become totally possessed during NaNo and write several paragraphs while the meal is cooking, skipping lunch so I can address a characters next move or ignore my eyelids closing as I write into the early hours. This year the challenge began on a weekend, which was an added bonus as well as our clocks went back – whoop an extra hour! NaNo may seem like a daunting assignment to undertake but there are incredible benefits too. It can be a personal challenge to see how you manage under a deadline, an out pouring of ideas, character development or finally beginning that wished for novel.
Writing to a deadline, for me anyway, results in almost complete novel length stories. These can be revised, added to and edited at my leisure in the following months. Even if you do not manage the fifty thousand word total, you will have laid down enough words to forge ahead with your own narrative. It can be the start you have avoided for months or years.
Knowing there are many, many writers around the world absorbed in the same challenge is not only exciting but a companionship of sorts. The NaNoWriMo site has a buddy system and you can connect with other participants, giving and receiving encouragement and support. Whether you use a pen and notebook or type your story, it is the words that matter.
This month will see thousands of stories created, their characters forging forward and over coming obstacles. Some will be happy, some will be sad but your story will be told.
Enjoy the process, scary as it is – the result is so very rewarding.
My novel this year is called The Giving Thief, a thriller/suspense/erotic – if there is such a genre!
It is a combination of three true news stories I found fascinating. My protagonist murders someone and flees – for what he believes will be a short time…but things do not go to plan. The photo is similar to how I see his hideout in the mountains.
Friday is the day many of us yearn for all week – probably not the best way to live our lives when you think about it but there it is, the phenomenon that is the weekend versus the week day slog.
When we have a writing project and a full time job, the lure of our narrative is strong – in fact it can give us a real feeling of dissatisfaction with our normal routines. We ask ourselves why we are ‘wasting’ time on other things when all our muse wants to do is write. I have experienced this dilemma many times, as I’m sure have you. In fact, just this week, I managed to squeeze in two blissful three hour editing and revision sessions prior to evening meetings. The temptation to ‘skip’ the meetings was hard to resist but I did – I have another compulsion to stand by my commitments!
So how do you balance the ‘real’ work week with your ‘writing wishes’?
Do you cram in as much as possible over the weekends, in defiance of chores, commitments or family?
It is not always easy to shut ourselves away with laptop or pen and paper. Our story’s characters chatter to us, ideas for the plot or next crucial scene emerge at the most inconvenient times. All of these add to our frustration but maybe it is best to understand our compulsion and make small adjustments to our routine to accompany them.
Can you get up earlier than the rest of the household or maybe stay up later?
Can you escape to the local library, cafe or park for a few hours?
Can you dedicate a period of time each weekday or weekend to writing, when your family will leave you alone?
What strategies have you applied to help your writing schedule? Care to share?
Quote – “You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.” —Orson Scott Card
So today’s prompt is? You’ve guessed it – an idea on making time to write.