Per Usual

I can’t say I’m surprised that my attempt at a writing habit took only 7 days to fail. I do have a chance at redemption for the month of July, as my camp goal was only 100 words a day, but above that was a goal of daily writing, which was the ultimate failure. This time.

I can only say that with my daughter and her friend home from college, life has been stressful and I have run out of spoons quicker than I planned. She has been dealing with anxiety ever since she arrived, and has exploded at times when I least expected it. She says she is working on her outbursts with her therapist, but as a mom it is hard to watch (and hear) your grown child berating herself for something minor, or yelling at a sibling for something even more minor. She says she is learning to unleash her feelings instead of bottling them up. I’m trying not to take her outbursts personally.

I am going to try to get back on track this month. My side job as a driver has given me a great opportunity to think through plot and characters, and I have a new idea for the Forever Novel that should help me punch out the missing 1,300+ words I need to catch up.

Hopefully I will have a more cheery update soon.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022

I’ve had this domain for over two years now, and I’m finally doing something with it!

Okay, I decided spur of the moment to set a (very) small goal for myself (100 words a day) and see if that gets me writing again. I miss it. Daily journal entries don’t count (those, at least, I know I can maintain. Baby steps).

I’m using Novlr (another purchase I made when I “won” NaNo at the end of 2020) to keep track. I hand wrote my first attempt late last night, and typed it into Novlr this morning: 167 words. On track.

I’m playing with my “forever” novel, the one I’ve had in mind for over 30 years. I worked on it during NaNo 2015, but didn’t get far. I have it in notebooks all over, started and stopped on a regular basis. I have learned many things about myself, my history, and the city of Detroit (the setting) in the past 4 years especially, that have helped shape the story in my mind. When I try to switch stories (like with my 2020 NaNo), I stretch my writing muscles, but always return to the Forever Novel when I think about writing.

I’m going to look at what I wrote in 2015, and perhaps my 2020 work (a whole fresh topic, that I had a lot of fun with), especially if I feel like I’m flagging at Camp.

Preparing for fall

I recently found out that my youngest will have to go to an a.m. class (our neighborhood is on an afternoon bus route, but there are not enough students to hold afternoon-only classes for his age group) when he starts school this fall, which means that both kids will be out of the house first thing in the morning (7 a.m. if they take the bus, 8 a.m. if I drive them) and I will have Prime Time for writing! Yesssss….feel free to give me a virtual fist-bump 😉

I have been taking what time I can eke out of my day to pull out my novel research and pre-writing. I’m lining up my writing reference books (a la Heather Seller’s most excellent Chapter by Chapter) and catching up on my Books 100 (another Sellers suggestion). I’ve been checking my plot outline and doing small character studies.

I’m getting ready for the open-ended writing time I’ve been craving since my first child was born. What do you do to get ready? What’s your writing schedule? Do you have one?

Love the Question

And that would be, Am I Really A Writer?

I have a lot of excuses *not* to be. I wasn’t encouraged as a youngster (in fact, I was strongly – and strangely – discouraged).

I was too sheltered to seek out the truth (even now I have a hard time seeing the big picture).

My juvenenalia was tossed out when I was 12 as punishment for hiding a bad report card (“daydreaming” was blamed for my poor grades…see my first excuse, above).

I had a vicious critic in my eldest brother, the one with Asperger’s, for whom NOTHING was good enough, and everything was laughed at for being “stupid” (no one was allowed to be smarter than him. It was all he had).

I spent *years* not writing…not exercising that muscle. It still feels flabby, despite years of keeping a daily diary and “online journaling”/blogging (intermittently) for the past 12 (!) years.

I still fear the criticism (firmly ingrained in my inner voice) and feel the Imposter Syndrome when I sit down to write. It freezes me at times (most of the time, actually). I need kind editors. I have become the sort of writer I hated working with when I was an editor at a publishing house, the needy kind who wanted constant encouragement, to whom every word was a precious baby that they couldn’t DREAM of cutting out of their beloved manuscript.

But for me, I primarily need to WRITE. To sit down on a daily basis and get the fiction in my head out on paper. I need solitude, which will be coming soon, when all my children are in school. In the meantime, I will keep checking in here and sharing my thoughts on writing as I live them.

And there is my final fear: that I’m not really a writer, because I don’t have The Fire to write. Maybe I have to write to find the fire. Maybe The Fire is just a myth?