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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In Training

This is my first post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'm really loving this resource.

It is almost impossible for me to believe that it’s less than a month until the next NanoWriMo. Blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. are all starting to buzz.  The goal is to write at least 50K words of a novel in one month.  The last two years I was anxious for November 1st. I knew what I was going to write, and though I’m something in between a pantser and a preparer, I had my outlines under way at least. I met the goal with no problems and even had days to spare.

This year, I’m terrified. I am so out of practice with sustained writing and high word counts.  Use it or lose it. I guess I’m in the lose it mode. At the beginning of the summer, I was struggling with a work in progress so I moved into editing and played around with another WIP, but I just haven’t been able to lose myself in an idea. 

I need to conquer my fear because I've promised my daughter another book. I’ve decided to treat the rest of the month like I’m prepping for a race. A year and a half ago, I could only run fifteen minutes at a time.  I had to build up my stamina.  I had to run more frequently and add to my time and speed little by little.  Duh right?  But I’m so competitive that I tend to think I should just be able to do things right away, and I get frustrated and quit when I can’t.  

But I’m not giving up on this year’s goal before I start.  So, I’m practicing.  250 words at a time this week.  I’ll go to 500 next week, and so on.  At the same time, I’ll be working on my outline for my Nano project.  So by the time November 1 hits, I should be a lean, mean, writing machine.

I still remain far less confident this time around, and I’m generally less enthusiastic about my own writing. I hope that by being proactive, I can break my negative thought pattern. Yes, I know, I should have learned this life lesson by now.  I guess we always need reminders, though.

Do you have any big goals you've needed to break down into stages? Writers, what are you doing to prepare for Nano?


  1. Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Good luck with building up the stamina to conquer your goals. We shall be with you every step of the way.

  2. That's awesome that you were able to build up your running! And you're right, the same thing holds true for writing. Sometimes people can dive right in and get going, churning out hundreds and thousands of words per day, while others have to build their way up. And when you haven't been in the swing of writing sometimes you've gotta give yourself that little swing room to get re-accustomed. Good luck with it, I hope all goes well.

    Oh, and I'll be checking back in to see how your NaNoWriMo is going once November comes. A little extra support goes a long way in November!

  3. I think your approach of working up to the daily count is a great one, and very positive. Love the carton, too. Perhaps the fear up-front is part of your method, sort of getting it all out before you start sort of thing. I'll be on NaNo too, so link up and I'll give you a shout of encouragement when I come out of my rabbit hole!
    Best of luck, Tricia.

  4. A lean, mean writing machine - love it! Breaking it into smaller, manageable pieces to sort of warm up for higher productivity sounds like a brilliant idea. Thanks. :)

  5. I haven't tried Nano. I feel like I kill myself just to get 500 words a day, so I'd have to kill myself, bring myself back from the dead, then kill myself fifty more times to get 50k.

  6. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I've never done it and am always impressed by those who do. That's smart of you to work your way up to writing more words per day. :)

  7. hey!
    just stopping by from Alex Cavanaugh's blog... on the Insecure Writer's Support Tour!
    and wow, 50k a month! im lucky to write 20k
    now i really am insecure! lol

    "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do"

    -Steve Jobs

  8. Thanks for stopping by! I'm really glad we can all be insecure together. Life has prevented writing again the last couple of days, so I'm already failing on my small goals. Sigh.

  9. I can identify!
    I participated in NaNo last year and wrote what will soon be my second book. But now, I have no idea what to do for a third. With no planI doubt I'll do NaNo again. If you at least have an idea, you are way ahead of me. You can do it!

  10. NaNo and I have a complicated relationship... I've managed the 50k in 30 days, but I didn't do it in the allocated time frame... I sort of started and finished earlier :)

    It's great though..good luck!

  11. Hi! New follower and fellow insecure writer here. I just want to say, I understand everything you're saying here. I struggle with a lot of these same problems. It's hard to stay motivated sometimes when the stress and fear starts getting to you. But I have recently learned what a valuable resource the blog-o-sphere can be. There's so many writers out there offering support and critique. I'd definitely suggest logging on next month when the writing gets you down!!

    Glad I stopped by and can't wait to hear more from you. Good luck with the writing preparations!

  12. I'm going to be doing Nano this year--good luck and I'll see you there!