Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fighting the Funk of Failing NaNo

Happy November!

I'm pickled, mushed up, chewed up and stomped on, wasted and blown away like fall's leaves... writer-wise.

This is a new kind of writerly forbidden territory for me and I'm in need of reassurance that my muse is just on idea overload and not in a permanent state of flux.

So it all started when... that's a terrible opening, let me start again.

This is November, National Write a Novel Month, see my button over there? No, not there, over there...left, down, that's the one.

I did it, I signed up for NaNo or WriMo [or whatever loving nickname you've given the insanity of writing fifty-thousand words in a month], I set aside writing my book about aliens - that I was really enjoying writing - simply for the sake of participating in NaNo. I started out strong, blazed through the first six or seven chapters, I conversed with other NaNoers, I went to write-in's and then... I got a phone call from - we'll call her a "fan" - her words sent my brain into overload and I can't get my NaNo back. I can't even go back to my cool alien novel... now I'm writing something brand new. And the worst part is, this new project is book two for the book I'm currently querying.

I know.

Believe me, I know.

All the blogs and how-to-become-an-author books warn against writing sequels to books, unless the first book has been sold.

Little voice inside my head "But I'm unpublished, does it really matter how I spend my writing time? Is there some imaginary finish line I'm supposed to be writing towards?"

I'm not sure how to recover from this funk, I don't know how to fight what's in my head or the itch in my fingers to continue my previous character's journey [thanks crazed crit-partner for freakin' out about my manuscript, really, I'm so happy you love it] but, but... what now? Now that you've filled my head with this burning need to satisfy all the things the characters are are going to do...

I'm broken.

Book two is now the only story I can hear, because its screaming volumes louder than my aliens and deafeningly louder than my NaNo project.

For one week I've been stuck in this three way tug-of-war and I've managed to accomplish almost nothing, except...

My daughter (white shirt) says I'm too old to wear red pants. Maybe she's right.
...of course I had a Breaking Dawn Part 1 release party. Have you seen Rob Pattinson?

And so that's it. I'm too busy fighting with myself about self imposed deadlines and responsibilities to fictional characters, I've hardly written three-thousand words in seven days.   

Am I the only one with this dilemma? Is it just totally stupid to toss aside two other projects, that could be right for today's market and write a continuation of a book that's making its rounds through slush piles?

Thanks for reading my rant. As always, I love advice.

I'm really glad you stopped by.

If you're winning NaNo... WAY TO GO! You deserve a brownie... and a button.


  1. LUCKY!!!!

    I'm Team Jacob though.

    And would you like to join the revolution to rid this world of the evil word verification?

    (Top 3 Things Bloggers Do That Drive Readers Nuts)

  2. I'm breaking your rule, Sophia :-) I did leave my comment in return on your awesome blog though. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Most muses are fickle creatures. If you ignore them, they sometimes stop talking to you completely. Therefore, if you can't appease your muse by taking notes and then returning to your other projects, then go ahead and give her free reign. If you don't, she may just give you the silent treatment in return. Shudder.

  4. Thanks Kathryn! I'm going to take that advice and just follow those little voices wherever they lead me. I hope they're going somewhere fun :-)