I’m a NaNoWriMo Failure

To be fair, I hadn’t planned to even try to do NaNoWriMo this year, but… I had this idea, shiny and new, and found myself logging into my old NaNo account and signing up for duty.

Then the shiny idea fizzled. I couldn’t get any traction, nor did I feel motivated to push it.

In truth, I don’t normally participate in NaNoWriMo because I’m now a full-time writer anyway, so it doesn’t feel as important to me as it did when I worked a day job. However, I happen to be a very slow writer, so the idea of NaNo possibly forcing me to not overthink things and just get words out does have a kind of appeal. Part of me thinks that if I were truly disciplined—or even if I wanted to badly enough—I’d have managed to get my 50k words regardless of obstacles like appointments, chores, holidays, etc. That’s true any month of the year, I suppose. In fact, NaNo seems to be just another way for me to feel bad about myself and my lack of productivity.

Still, I know NaNoWriMo is a great tool for many writers, so kudos to all who achieved their goal this month. (Or will in the next 24 hours or so.) As for me, all is not lost. I went back to that old K-Pro sequel and am now working on that. Who’da thunk it? I don’t even know if there’s still any interest from readers in this book, but I sure am having fun writing it!

My November was not a complete failure after all. Though I didn’t write 50k or finish a manuscript, I did get my mojo back. NaNo or no NaNo, I’ll call that a win.

One Week!

If you live in the San Francisco area, I hope you’ll consider coming to see me speak at the Livermore Public Library:

As part of their NaNoWriMo programming, I’ll be going over the basics of writing a polished manuscript. I’ll also touch on querying once the writing is done. Bring your writing questions!

Nah, No WriMo

So I had originally planned to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. Alas, I was overly ambitious on that point. I’ve only just finished a manuscript and released a short story, and every time I complete a major project (or two), I need a few days of down time. But NaNoWriMo doesn’t allow for any down time at all. Add to this the fact that I’ll be away on vacation in a couple weeks, and it just doesn’t seem fair to myself to attempt NaNoWriMo. I’d only be setting myself up for failure, disappointment, and unnecessary guilt.

Still, I’m cheering on all of you who are devoting yourselves to writing this month! I know for some, NaNo is the one time in the year you really do focus on the craft. If so, good for you! Since I write—or should be writing—all the time, my year is just one writing month after another. And while I see the value in dedicating myself to a project that needs to be finished (*cough*Changers2*cough*), November just isn’t going to work for me. Maybe I should pick another month for that kind of focus, though there’s something to be said for knowing a lot of other writers are in the same boat. An externally imposed deadline works way better for me than one I set for myself.

Anyway, I refuse to feel bad. This has been a very productive year for me, and my best in terms of book sales since 2012. This year I:

  • Released Brynnde
  • Compiled and released my Sherlock Holmes stories as both ebook and audiobook
  • Attended a fabulous workshop in France
  • Finished and found an agent for Hamlette (in large part due to the aforementioned workshop)
  • Had a short story accepted to an anthology
  • Wrote and published yet another short story

That’s a pretty big year in terms of writing and publishing! Or it is for me, at least. I’m not a fast writer, so to have done so much in one year is major for me. That said, there are still a lot of things waiting in the wings, not least of which is Changers 2. Also, Faebourne, which is another Regency romance like Brynnde, and Epiphanies (the follow-up to Hamlette).

At the moment, I’m workshopping what I have of Changers 2 with one of my critique groups. I’ve started Faebourne but am not very far along, and Epiphanies is only an outline. I have my work cut out for me! But I won’t be doing any of it via NaNoWriMo. Not this time. I’m going to take a little breather and then jump back in—when I’m ready.

IWSG: NaNoWriMo

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

An agent has offered to represent my latest novel, which is a big step in my writing career, but my insecurities are far from over. Now I worry whether any publishers will want my manuscript. And I worry about getting the next one written in a timely fashion. I’m not a fast writer, and I have a stack of projects. Prioritizing will be key.

Question of the Month: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo (though I’m considering trying to finish Changers 2 by NaNoing it). Of the ones currently listed on the NaNo site, I finished and published all of them. But I’ve done NaNo for a lot longer than the current site shows because I think I made a new account at some point. I’m pretty sure some of my earlier years I either didn’t finish or didn’t publish what I wrote. As I recall, one year I just wrote a lot of fan fiction.

BTW, if you want to be my NaNo friend, I’m mpepper.

Oh! AND . . . You can now preorder the anthology I contributed to. Release date is 11/7.

The State of Things

There’s a lot going on just now. I had to send my first ever copyright takedown notice when I found PDFs of something I’d written had been uploaded to a Web site by someone I don’t even know. Look, I’m all for people enjoying my work, but don’t take that work and post it somewhere without my permission. That irks me. (Only tangentially related: A Game of Hearts by ZMethos is different from the “Game of Hearts” stuff currently on that big fan fiction site. Both Sherlock but totally separate.)

Meanwhile, I’m very close to finishing The K-Pro, which was one of my goals for the year. Ideally we’ll be able to publish it in November. If things stay on track and I don’t get interrupted. Or distracted.

And after that, I hope to go back to finishing the “St. Peter” sequel. I’d been doing pretty well with it, but then lost the thread during my travel. I came back feeling more K-Pro, so . . . That’s the way this writing thing goes sometimes.

As for NaNoWriMo, I’m not sure I’m going to do it this year. I’ve already got so much going on. And I have zero ideas for writing anything long enough. But we’ll see. It’ll be a game time decision.

More on “St. Peter in Chains” & some K-Pro

Fellow writer Christine Rains will be posting her review of “St. Peter in Chains” on her site on Tuesday. The following Monday, July 9, she’ll publish an interview with yours truly. Thanks, Christine, for the awesome hospitality!

Now to focus on The K-Pro. I’ve given myself a deadline of July 31 to finish the draft. I’m not sure yet how realistic that actually is since lately I’ve felt kind of flat when it comes to writing, but I’m sure as hell gonna try. I sometimes forget that a draft is just that: a draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be. But if I want to try Camp NaNo in August, I need The K-Pro to be done first.

Camp NaNoWriMo

You may have noticed my Camp NaNoWriMo badge under “Coming Soon” in the sidebar. I got an e-mail about this yesterday, and I’ve decided to participate in August.

Camp NaNo is basically the same thing as “regular” NaNo except not in November. And since November is very difficult for me because of holidays and such, I’m thinking August might work out better. (June is another camp option, but I have other obligations for June.)

The other cool thing about Camp NaNo is how you get put in “cabins” with writing partners. Like bunks at camp. You can request certain roommates, or roommates who are your age and/or write the same kinds of things you do, or go with luck of the draw. Since I don’t know anyone who is planning to do Camp NaNo, I went with “Surprise Me!” But if you’d like to request me as a bunkmate, I’m mpepper on the site.

No idea what I’m going to write yet. I’ve put myself under “chick lit” for now, but that may change. Might go YA or something. Might do a sequel to “St. Peter in Chains.” I have a few ideas, just not sure which will demand the most attention come August.

NaNoWriMo Fail

It appears I’m not actually doing NaNoWriMo this year after all. The month is nearly half over, and though I’ve written one play and started another, I won’t have anything like a novel by the time the clock runs out. I’m fine with this . . . I think. Since I write all the time anyway, the deadline for NaNo seems forced and arbitrary. I’ve produced more work in the past year than I had in the three or four years prior, so I have nothing to be ashamed of. And hopefully this is just the start of my prolific career.

The play I’m writing now is coming along very well, much better than the last one I wrote (which wasn’t bad but was like pulling the proverbial teeth to write). And I have several other projects in the works as well that need to get finished. So I’ll keep adding to my oeuvre, I suppose. NaNo or not.

Progress, or: Lack Thereof

I’m supposed to be participating in NaNoWriMo, but as things stand, I haven’t even started. I’m too busy trying to finish a play that I thought was going to be 10 minutes long but . . . Now I’m not sure. I’m on page nine and don’t see it finishing in one more. Fifteen? Twenty? No idea. I really just want to finish it, but I also don’t want to rush it . . . I think I’m just eager to have something new to submit, since “Warm Bodies” has found some love. Gotta ride that wave!