Creativity Magazine

NaNoWriMo, Anyone?

Posted on the 02 November 2012 by Bluestalking @Bluestalking


Not all book bloggers identify themselves as writers, per se. For many blogging is a fun pastime, a creative outlet and a great way to spend time sharing the love of books with others similarly afflicted. It's the same reason I play around with painting and the collage arts, "zentangles" and the paper arts. It's an expression of creativity in an area off the path of normal life, a freeing of the mind to explore artistic endeavors without the expectation of taking it anywhere beyond what it is: a mind-clearing, yet still challenging, exercise of the artsy side of the brain. Hard to imagine life without it and I feel sorry for those who haven't found their own mental recreation. They have no idea what they're missing. I find that unutterably sad.

While I blog for the same reasons, I also make money and boost my professional librarian career via reviewing, writing columns and such in the field of librarianship, and do a bit of dabbling in fiction, as well. Writing posts for Bluestalking has helped discipline me, sparking the desire to post as often as I'm able to keep the blog up and running, sharing and interacting with other readers for the love of it. The lack of pressure to produce a certain level of quality - working with an editor to hone my work, sending a piece back and forth until we're both happy with it  - on a deadline,  leaves me with all the  pleasure of writing without the stress of answering to anyone but myself. Every first draft is pure genius, every bit of misused punctuation an expression of creativity. Any "mistake" is artistic license, a declaration of individuality. I haven't fired myself yet. I haven't even received a bad review. I may give myself a raise.

A couple days ago I bought a PDF copy of the first year of posts I wrote for Bluestalking, to see how it reads compared with what I've written since. It's definitely me, and my voice, but there's so much fat I could have cut and didn't, a lot of repetition of words and phrases and a criminal over-use of exclamation points. And unnecessary adjectives. And, well, too many words entirely when less would have been more effective.

I once left a writing gig because my editor felt I "wrote like a blogger," creating an abrasive relationship that became so toxic I quit of my own volition. Looking back, I now see we were both wrong. Or both right, I mean. I was writing too flippantly but she accepted my first few pieces without qualm, "giving me my head," as they say about horses. What could I assume but that she felt satisfied with my output? Instead, seemingly out of the blue she started sniping at me, to the point even I - who tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and don't always know when I should feel offended - couldn't take it anymore. So I left, but not without considering her criticisms, which still haunt me every now and then, nipping at my confidence when things are going badly.

My intention in paying to have part of my blog converted to a book-formatted PDF is to look over older posts, removing the glaring errors while leaving the meaning of each piece intact. I want to weed through the stuff, throwing out the unnecessary, uninformative short posts, leaving only the best. Once I've done that (and this will take quite a long time) for all six or so years of Bluestalking, I'm going to self-publish the whole, one volume per blog year, just to have on hand when I feel like paging back through it. From here on out I'll self-publish each year as I finish it, providing myself with a hard copy my grandchildren can read (or, more likely, put on their shelves to gather dust). Electronic editions are fine but there's just something about holding a book in your hands I know will give me a feeling of accomplishment, no matter how minor. Important or not, it's work I've done, thoughts I've thought and places I've been. To me, if no one else, it will be a treasure.




Because I am obviously so fond of writing and can use every kick in the arse I can get to encourage me to practice the craft, I'm planning to participate in NaNoWriMo 2012. I've taken part three times before; maybe the fourth's the charm? The first time I finished (or "won," as they call it) and the other two I got decent starts on pieces I haven't touched since. Come to think of it, I never looked back through my "winning" piece, either. I'm sort of afraid it might psych me out realizing how truly horrific I am at fiction. Maybe I'll break down and look through them after this current NaNoWriMo session. Yes, that's it.

This year I don't expect to finish. I'm preoccupied due to really rough life events involving the end of life experience of a close family member and all that's involved in that awful roller coaster ride. That will be enough to deal with and going after NaNoWriMo full steam would be an exercise in futility, netting me nothing but frustration. Instead, I'm going to take the time to encourage myself to write something creative, not necessarily making the 50,000 word goal, or even the daily 1,666. Because it isn't about beating yourself to death; it's to show yourself how much you can accomplish in a short period of time when you make writing a priority. That's the healthy way to see it and the way I intend to approach it.

Saying that, I have to admit I didn't start today, on the official kick-off. I'm registered but my file sits empty. And that's okay, because life didn't afford me the opportunity to work on it, so I didn't. Tomorrow hopefully things will be better. I'll take it day by day.

In the meantime, for anyone who is participating and has started, here are two very helpful links you may find of interest:


NaNoWriMo tips

60 NanoWriMo tips


They may be virtually the same material. I grabbed the links after only a cursory glance. I only know they looked useful and what I read was brilliant. Use it if you'd like, abandon if you don't.

Good luck if you're participating this year and I'll let you know how my experience goes.

On your mark...

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Corruption of Academic Medicine

    Corruption Academic Medicine

    Many doctors are genuinely puzzled why much of the general public does not trust what they say. For example, there's the GOOP story. Gwyneth Paltrow sells lots... Read more

    9 hours, 52 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Vegan Gluten-Free Spiced Chestnut Pancakes!

    Vegan Gluten-Free Spiced Chestnut Pancakes!

    This morning, I invented these lovely Vegan Gluten-free Spiced Chestnut flour Pancakes! That is a mouthful hey? They are super easy to make, very delicious ar... Read more

    10 hours, 32 minutes ago by   Sophies Foodie
  • Goldfinches with Rage Issues, Join the Pineapple Port Street Team & Giveaways!

    Goldfinches with Rage Issues, Join Pineapple Port Street Team Giveaways!

    Goldfinches with Rage IssuesLiving in the Northeast, where most of the birds are pretty blah compared to tropical regions, I’ve always had an affinity for... Read more

    10 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Kidfreeliving
  • What I Wore: Summer-izing

    What Wore: Summer-izing

    Jacket: In The Band Jacket c/o cabi (XL) | Tee: J. Crew (XL; similar) | Jeans: Kick It Crop c/o cabi (14; similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (on sale!) | Cuff:... Read more

    10 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
  • Hundreds of Canadian Doctors Demand an End to the Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

    Hundreds Canadian Doctors Demand Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

    It's time for an end to the low-fat nutrition dogma. It's time to change the official dietary guidelines that have failed to prevent - and may even have... Read more

    10 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Gary Taubes in London This Fall

    If you have your ways around London on the 18-19th of November, then here's a treat. Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar, Why We Get Fat: And What to... Read more

    11 hours, 47 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Suspicion Points Towards Arson After Fires Ravage the French Riviera

    Yesterday, I wrote this at Facebook to explain the photo you see above, the early morning view from our home: Accident or toerag arsonists? Read more

    11 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Colin Randall