I almost started this entry like Green Day lyrics but stopped myself because I don’t like Green Day.
What’s up, writers? What am I doing at 4:03 a.m., you might ask? I’m watching shows on Hulu and about to retake an aptitude test on Upwork, actually. It’s the English Spelling Test U.S., for those on Upwork and might be curious. My spelling has actually always been a notable strength of mine–especially growing up–but I managed to get “below average” as the score. That just won’t do. I have no idea, honestly, if I was only half paying attention or more stumped than I expected to be by some of the questions. Whatever the reason may be, it is time to redeem myself, people! And clearly 4 a.m. is the time to do that, right?
I fell flat of my goal for September. It might be a little too soon to call a failure–I could find muse to write tomorrow (today)–but I’m going to call it that I doubt I’ll be writing 13,000 words by tomorrow.
Still–factoring in life, work and hobbies–I managed to do 2,781 words for the month, so says my blog. Certainly nothing to frown upon. I wrote! And every little word counts.
NaNoWriMo published their prep kit to get people started, and I’ve been trying to hold myself accountable for all of it. Because I am not a novelist, however, and I am using the 50,000 word count for November to write as many essays (and maybe some poetry) as possible, some of it I have to tweak to meet my needs for the upcoming month. But I’ve already decided to sit down one day soon and map out a long list of topics I would like to write about to get my brain going. Seriously, I hope I can think of at least 30 topics to push in a good direction so I have quite a few to choose from at the start.
Along with basic tips for the every day writer to plan accordingly for NaNoWriMo, the organization has also linked to some very useful links from their blog to encourage writers to plan for the big month. One I think is most useful at this time: “No Plot? No Problem!: How to Schedule Time for Writing.” In terms of a helpful blog post, it’s more encouraging and basic, surface-level kind of helpful. But it’s also a good reminder to writers that they must stay diligent during this time of year–or any time that a writer plans on taking on a big project like this.
I hear writers say a lot that they don’t know how other writers find time to even write. My friend Jen wrote a blog post just recently that covered this as well, called “Daily Rituals.” The title pulls from the book that she references in the post Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. The basic point of the book is that even most famous writers had/ve bad habits when it comes to writing. There’s something pretty comforting in knowing that while I’m trying my best, if at most I can just write once a week or every other week, I’m not alone in that struggle.
I even just had a phone call with one of my closest friends, Ariel, who was lamenting the same. #writersproblems, huh?
In terms of anything else writing-related across the web or in my own life, did you read The Master’s Review link that I posted in the last blog post? I actually submitted three poems to The Stonecoast Review. At the time of writing this, I cannot seem to load their website, but you can also find the MFA literary journal on Twitter here: @StonecoastRev. You might see my Tweet that they RT’d. Thanks, by the way, guys. A little writing love goes a long way. 😉
I planned on submitting a new batch to The Sun Magazine (again) and a few other magazines and journals, but when I went to package up a few pieces, I realized the only smart way to really hold them together was through paper clips given I was rushing to print them off at work. Unfortunately, a lot of places won’t let you send packages with any kind of metals in them–like the postal service on my work’s campus. Ah, well. I’ll make a trip to the real post office here soon and package them properly and send them off soon. I really am proud of those pieces. For once this isn’t procrastination because I’m scared of what I’ve written.
It seems like the biggest fad amongst my writing friends is memoir writing. Whether they’re joking about it or seriously considering it, it’s something a lot of students of the literary arts are considering. And my question there is: What is the appeal, exactly? It’s not as if I haven’t thought about it myself, but is there a part of it subtly dripping in vanity–much like blogging–that gives people a sense of fulfillment from the idea? Or are we just at a point right now, in the literary world, where this seems like an exciting and cathartic new challenge to tackle?
Maybe this is just something we do in our mid-20s–discuss memoirs. Memory is a strong tool in writing, after all. Can’t let it go to waste.
Next is October, my birthday month and a new month for training and getting more organized and serious about November and writing overall. Good luck to you, too–whatever October brings.