Another Year, Another NaNoWriMo Challenge

Every year, I try to sign up for NaNoWriMo. I know that I may or may not succeed. I have succeeded more times than I have failed, but failures are still rough. Especially on those years when you put all of your sweat and tears into something, only to fall just short of your goal (last year, 30,000 words out of 50,000). I’m someone who does take those things hard, but I’m also someone who shakes it off and moves on. Maybe it was just that I chose a difficult thing to write about, like one year when a story hit too close to home that I scrapped it. Or maybe I just get myself into some knotted plot hole and I can’t get out of it. Or maybe I just run out of ideas on how to make the story go forward. Short stories are where I seem to excel. Writing longer pieces seem to trip me up.

I try to have a plan every year. I take book ideas that I have worked on and tried to figure out which one will be the “one”. This year, I have decided to again attempt a thriller of sorts. My business manager/husband thought the topic was interesting and he gave me his confidence that I could do it this year. His supportive nature allows me to keep going on this path, even when other people think it’s a joke.

As October rapidly approaches, the goal is to start doing an outline and get things planned out. I attempted this last year, but I feel as though my outline wasn’t as detailed as it should have been for the story. Then, towards the end of this when I take a weekend get away in my favorite place in the world, I intend to find a nice little spot to get some final details done before November 1 hits. My fingers are crossed that this year will be successful. And let’s hope for some workout time to indulge in my favorite “brain” food that tends to help my writing process. (Send Dunkichinos, Flaming Hot Cheetos, and Peanutbutter M&Ms my way if you see me in November.)

Challenges are meant to be overcome, and I intend to try my best to achieve my goal this year.

When It’s Over

As a writer, there is no other feeling that can match when you finish a project. There is a sense of pride in your work. There is trepidation, worrying that your project was terrible and no one will like it. There is hope that this one is the one that gets you to the point of “making it” so that you can tell everyone who doubted you or called you foolish for pursuing your dream that you are good enough. Validation lets you know you’re talented, right?

The truth is that there is a lot of fear as a writer. You’re afraid you’re not good enough. You worry that you are wasting your time, and the time of everyone who supported you on this journey. You are even afraid that the book will make it. Then you have to face the harsh criticisms of faceless internet people. What if it does very well and you can spoil yourself? There is so much to be afraid of.

The fear isn’t the worst part. The worst part is that feeling of emptiness when you finally complete the project. You spend so much time stressing over getting it completed on whatever deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, that you have to beat. Then, when it is completed, you have that “now what feeling”. The book is up for sale and you just have to hope. But you dedicated so many months or years on a project only to have it finally be done. And there is emptiness that does make you feel a little depressed. Even if you do have projects on your “queue” waiting for your attention.

“A Special Place for Noah” will be up for sale on 2/15. You can pre-order it in ebook format prior to this date by visiting my Amazon author page (or if you follow my author Facebook, the link will be there). I have yet to approve the copy for the paperback version as when I got the first proof, it was 3x the size that I wanted it to be. I’m not very tech-savvy and forgot how to change the page sizes for proper printing since my last paperback was released. Oops.FB_IMG_1518529971930.jpg

As for what’s next? There is still my children’s book that I want to finally finish, which has been on hold because I’m a perfectionist and I need to brush up on my drawing skills. That will be my first goal. Once that is completed, I will be working on the project tentatively titled “Project Team LaRochelle”. My husband, as well as some others, have been trying to get me to write a thriller/horror for a while now. My husband came up with an idea that he was very excited about, so we have decided to collaborate on that. Between his love of horror and my storytelling skills, this should be interesting. If we end up divorced though, you know why.

There is a lot on my plate, including my focus on growing the blog, but I am very excited to keep moving forward. With hard work and a positive attitude, you can do anything. At least that’s what I’m told. I have the hard work down, so let’s see if that’s good enough.

The Editing Process Drags On

They say that the most difficult part of any writing project is the editing. They are right. It can be very hard to dissect your story, and try to piece it back together so that you can increase the flow. In fact, that is the hardest part of a book especially if you are the one solely responsible for doing the process. I actually really wish that I had my own pocket editor to help me so I don’t feel like pulling out what’s left of my hair after dealing with a tween and a toddler at the end of the day. I don’t have that luxury, as I’m not signed to a publisher nor do I have the $500 to take advantage of online services that do this for you. So, I drag on wishing that it was acceptable to drink a glass of wine alone with a toddler at 10 in the morning.

The editing process is moving at an incredibly slow pace. My problem falls within a placement of a chapter, and I can’t quite figure out where it should go. Originally, the first chapter I had written as a part of NaNoWriMo was going to be placed at the end of the novel. In theory, that was going to be an incredible idea. That was in theory. In practice, however, the way I finished the novel feels complete to me. It feels right to end it that way. In rereading the novel, the chapters flow together so well, that I would hate to ruin that flow. Now I must ponder the idea of just leaving it as is, which I don’t like the idea of at all. Starting the book with that chapter does not feel right at all.

I considered just omitting the chapter and calling it a day. That consideration didn’t last long. That chapter gives the details and answers to speculation that is an important piece of the story. But what if I don’t omit the chapter, rather piece it up into mini-chapters in between? I feared that would ruin the flow of the story as well. It is going to take some time to figure a way to keep it so readers get answers without just haphazardly placing it someplace and ruin the entire novel.

I’m sure I will figure it out. I hope, anyways. I think I just need to distance myself from it for a few days and think about it as a reader, and not as the author.

The Shaping of the New Novel

When it rains, it pours when it comes to taking my attention away from this blog. A series of 2 colds making their rounds in the household, while juggling jobs that pay much better than this blog does and NaNoWriMo, this poor blog has been neglected of my attention. I am really trying my best, but sometimes in life things need to give. Unfortunately, my baby (this blog) was the concession. Now that things are slowly settling down, maybe we can get back on track.

Since we’re nearing the end of NaNoWriMo, this post will be dedicated to my hopeful repeat of completing the challenge. As it stands right now, I am just under 25,000 words, which is halfway through the challenge. With a week left to finish, it is honestly looking quite grim that this is going to happen. I have faith that I will be able to pull it out, and really that’s something I need on my side. That and the Kindle that buys me a few hours to get something done. I think I just need to go full force during the next 2 weekends and get a huge chunk out of this sucker. Fortunately, I haven’t found myself in a corner yet, but there’s still a chance that could  happen. But together, with Pandora, I will do this. Failure is not an option.

The novel is “The Science of Suicide”, and it centers around this student who is writing a paper on suicide for her degree. I think it will be an interesting approach on the topic, and I hope that others will too. It will approach some difficult feelings, and it will definitely discuss any beliefs and stigmas about the topic. Most of all, I hope that it strikes something in the readers. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think that it’s an interesting topic. I come up with that because when I told my husband about the topic, he really got into to and asks about it a lot. Normally, he just leaves me to do what I do as I never ask him anything about his work because hearing him talk about it would bore me to death. Love is knowing not to bore your partner.

So back to my novel and my amazing Pandora channel which was made by combining Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Saves the Day, and All-American Rejects. Cross your fingers for me, readers. I’m going in.