NaNoWriMo 2010 is complete

Here I am, victorious to my word count beast and I'm thrilled to death to get so many good stories out of NaNo (25 is now my new total for the 52 Story Pick Up). If I could I'd lay in the sand somewhere (because I don't like snow) and run my arms and legs back and forth to make an angel, I would.

There's both a sense of accomplishment and relief that comes from writing so many words in such a ridiculously short period of time that confirms you must be crazy to do such a thing. So here I am...TA DA! Done!

So, do I take a break? Hell yeah! I'll give myself a few days to let the fingers cool and then the real challenge begins. Writing more new material and revising what I have. My hopes are to clean up one story at a time and send it out into the world like a little fledgling bird hoping one day it will fly back to me with a check in its beak instead of a rejection letter, but only time, energy, and revision will tell.

This clip is for me, but you can use it too.

I love Elisabeth Gilbert's writing style in Eat, Pray, Love, but I'm afraid a lot of people probably don't know she's written other stuff. Her collection of short stories, Pilgrims, in particular is a set of slice-of-life stories that are really amazing in construction and characterization, and they motivate me to get closer to my characters to tell their stories. That being said, anytime I need a boost of writing or a pep talk I turn to this clip of Gilbert and I'm washed with inspiration and enthusiasm to get writing. So here it is, this clip is for me, but you can use it too. If you're a writer, this may be the best 20 minutes of your day and it's so worth it.

Through Story 20

I'm writing, and I'm writing, and I'm writing. I have to be honest I'm ready for NaNoWriMo to be over. I really am just so I can have a couple days of a break. This is however a marathon, not a sprint, and that's true for NaNo as well as writing as a whole.
As for progress, I'm getting a lot of stories written and about half of them I feel really positive about without having had a chance to revise yet. That's my bread and butter; the revision process. It's taken years to get to the point that I really trust my own judgement to revise my work and know what isn't working, but for now it's those "shitty first drafts" to quote Anne Lamott, that I need to get out from under me. So, until next time, but for now I have to get writing.

Story 4 & 5: Cows, Birth, Houses, Death

I'm clumping stories four and five together because I wrote each of them back to back in two days. Not because I'm trying to force things, but because I'm trying to force things for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Story four focused on a girl in the snow heading out to retrieve a wandering cow. It was...okay. It's not literary gold, but there were some good lines in there. As the story goes she finds the cow and it promptly begins giving birth in the middle of the snow just as a bear is seen roaming nearby. With some heavy revision, this story could turn into something.

Story 3: The thing I thought I wouldn't do but I'm doing.

So story 3 is done and lacking. Not completely lacking, but something is missing that's for sure. However, what story 3 is or isn't, has nothing to do with this post. Here, I'll give you a little back history: in case you haven't heard of it there is a thing called National Novel Writing Month (aka: nanowrimo) that happens in November. Through you set up a free account and for 30 days you write 50,000 words which should be a good start for anyone with a plot line and desire to write a novel.