Thursday, October 21, 2010
After perusing a few of my friends' blog updates, I decided this may be a fun exercise to try. My friend Elizabeth decided to write exactly 1667 words, just to see what it looks like, get a feel for it...all that jazz. So, Elizabeth...I am taking your idea! SNIPE! 55 words...
I am actually using the online program Write or Die to do this. It seems pretty nifty. What you do is set your time and/or word count goal, then you write. If you pause for too long, you get "punished." Right now I am using the gentlest settings possible. (Kids are awake and still demanding me to dash from the computer every so often to attend to their dire needs, such as more juice, Blues Clues, or a good cuddle.) I have read about this program on many NaNoWriMo forum pages, so it is fun to actually try it out.
Here are the punishments, from what I have gathered:
The softest one is when you stop writing for a certain amount of time (again, you get to choose if it is lenient, strict, or nazi) it will post a pop up window reminding you to write. I would pause long enough to see what that window is like, but I am trying to see how long it takes to write all these words. The next highest setting, from what I have read, emits a nasty noise that only ends when you begin to write again. (Oh man, need to try that one when Shane is around...ha!) And the roughest punishment, the one I am very much so afraid of, starts to DELETE your words if you stop writing. Hence, the "or die" part! SCARY! If you write and haven't checked this site out yet, you really should. It seems like a fun way to make sure you bust out that word count, especially for all those Wrimos out there! The url is writeordie.drwicked.com
340 words. Phew!
Ok, this November is going to be intense! To be utterly honest, I am getting pretty dang nervous about the whole affair. I know I can write. I have been writing since I was able to hold a pencil in hand and demand from my mom what an "a" looks like. Of course, because I know I can write, I also doubt my writing. Its that never ending issue that you assume your friends say your writing rocks just because they are your friends and don't want to hurt your feelings. And your family is obligated to be kind because well...they are stuck with you. But what does it take to actually convince yourself that not only is your writing decent, but it is actually, truly, totally worth reading? Yeah, I am still working on that one. Who cares that I have won writing contests...way back in the day. Tell me people, blog followers, strangers...what do you think?
Wow I am not even half way? Ok, so the actual writing come NaNo will be different. I will be creating a whole new world, and can use as many adjectives as word count needs. Ha! I just really really hope that I can accomplish this goal. If you don't know, I am a stay at home mom. With two awesome, but very hyper little boys. I got married fresh out of high school and found that, over time, I have put much of my "dreams" aside in order to accomplish whatever it is my family is needing. I know there are those of you out there who have had to do that much longer than I have (Celebrated our five year anniversary this year! Yay!) but still, if its something that needs fixing, its never too early to fix. And I love writing. It has always been my dream to write and be published. Which I have found to also be the dream of many many others out there. But nevertheless, it is still my dream. And we write for ourselves, right?
I just had to take a break to get some snackage for my little man. It gave me the chance to see what this program does. Here you go: The screen background gradually gets more and more red, then suddenly a little screen pops up declaring "You stopped writing. Keep writing!" You have to click "ok" then...go go go! I love it. Methinks I will for sure download the desktop version of this and use it to at least procure my required 1667 daily count. I don't think it is counting the numbers though. Wait, it is. Good to know.
Plans for November that have been set:
1. I am SO going to the NaNoWriMo kick off party October 30th! My friend Kimmel is also taking part in this awesomely crazy event, so we are going together. I am pretty excited to meet the other NaNo peeps out there in my Portland area!
2. I have set two fridays in November to meet with Keary online, starting at 10 pm, to write. AKA to yell at each other if we are NOT writing. I am really looking to these "all night" writing fiascos. Can't wait!
3. Along with that, I am meeting with Elizabeth Tuesday evenings online to keep tabs on each other. Support system: GO! Anyone else out there wanna meet up? I need a constant fire under my feet, otherwise I will slack, give up, or just.....blah out.
4. I keep hearing about this coffee place called Ava over here in Beaverton that is open 24 hours. I NEED to check it out. If I like it, I have a feeling that weekend nights will consist of me nestling down there, out of this humble abode of mine, and typing away.
Shane already knows, and states often, that come November "mommy is bye bye." I love him. I am really hoping we can time it all out nicely, so the kids super glue themselves to Daddy, allowing mommy to disappear into her novel land. I have been working on redecorating my dining room. Sadly, we live in a small apartment, so the dining room doubles as the computer room. And man was it bland! So, with my birthday moneys this year, I have been reforming it into my personal writing den. I will post before and after photos soon...once it is done. At the moment I am hand stitching the table runner. I am not a seamstress by any means...so this is a feat of its own. Along with that, I have my awesome yellow Writing Hat that I custom made on Zazzle. I need to wear that more...where did my kiddo put it...
1184 words. Almost there!
That was the third time the screen has turned red on me and the pop up made its appearance. It is a good thing I am not using the death option. That is just something I have to deal with when writing while the kids are awake. If all goes well though, I will be able to do most of my writing in the evenings when Shane is home. I have been thinking about maybe waking up earlier to bust out some word count before the kids are going nuts for the day. But that actually means being awake. At least awake enough to plunk out semi sensible words. And I am NOT a morning person. So we will see if that ever happens. (My desire for sleep is leaning to a "no," but it will be NaNoWriMo, where sleep and sanity hold no sway over these fingers, so we shall see!)
Ok. Takes deep breath. Blinks eyes a few times. How come this feels like it is never ending? Though the number at the bottom of this screen now reads 1380, I feel like the word count will never be finished! I have written much more than this in one sitting before. It is probably just because I am thinking about it non stop. And watching the number grow. And trying to find ways to ramble. Creativity: GO! Shakes arms out and wiggles fingers.
People seem stumped when I tell them about NaNoWriMo. Have any of you noticed that? Especially when I say its not a contest, there is no actual prize. Its just...to do it. They just hang their mouths, let some drool drip out, and slowly drawl out "Whyyy?" Here's why: To prove that I can. I can write. I can finish my novel. I can accomplish a dream. And know what? You can too. All it takes is some absurd goal and the nerve to tell everyone that you are going to do it. Once you gloat, you have to follow through.
I am going to do it!
Well, the number draws closer to my goal. And with it, I feel my mind turning to a strange mush. Not the mush of "I need to sleep and never think again." But more so "I have so many different thoughts and writing ideas going through my head that I cannot think about any of them and I am about to pass out in a writing coma." I love it. I can't wait for this November. I hope you all follow me, join me, and cheer the craziness on. Even just the occasional “Jenni, you are nuts. Keep going!” will do. Yes, I am nuts. I am an artist. Artists cannot be sane. If they were sane, there would be no creation. And in this amazing NaNoWriMo community that I have found, I finally am surrounded by my other loonies. Thanks Shannon and Afton for mentioning this crazy month to me.
The number draws close. It is almost here. My son wonders if his mother has lost it…He is watching me as my fingers fly and my eyes don’t blink. A few more words and we are done…
Here come the final words. Almost there…
Ready? I'm DONE!