National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo 2015

National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo is underway! I probably should have published this post at the start of the month, but put it off.

I have no expectation of actually winning this year. For one thing, I still have my wrist issues, and using dictation is extremely awkward for me. The other reason is that I’m actually working on the novel is started during NaNoWriMo 2013, and I’m not entirely certain there’s another 50k words left in the story. But it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want to finish it.

So far, I haven’t hit the daily goal once. Maybe I should be bothered by that, but honestly? What I have managed to write feels like a major accomplishment. In the first week of November, I wrote more words than I did in the entire month of October. And that’s with losing two days of work last week. I had another steroid shot done to my wrist done on the 3rd and for the first couple of days after the injection, my hand and wrist were even more painful than usual. Even though I could have used dictation to try to keep up the writing on those days, the pain itself was too distracting. Hoping that this was my last injection, and that my wrist will finally respond to the treatment.

As of right now, I’m at 5000 words written for this month. How about you? How many words have you written for NaNo this year?

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2014, The Year that Wasn’t — Or Was It?

When I first started thinking about writing this post, I was definitely focused on what I haven’t done. I didn’t send out a single submission to agents for my novel. I stopped writing short stories in the summer–at least, I stopped finishing stories. I wrote two first drafts, then never bothered to try to polish and edit them.

I could blame part of my lack of progress on moving across the country during the summer. Even after the move was finished, I never seemed to have much drive or energy for anything creative. I looked at the number of rejection slips I’ve collected over the last couple of years and got so discouraged, I stopped sending out subs. I resolved to quit writing shorts completely.

Then I heard about a submission call that intrigued me. I still couldn’t bring myself to try writing something new, so I decided to look over all of the stories that were still lingering on my hard drive.

As I did so, I realized I still like my stories. It dawned on me that I needed to work and edit several of them all over again — I’ve learned a lot as a writer since I first started subbing some of them. One, in particular, sparked the idea for a complete overhaul. The basic events of the story will remain, but not much else. And I’m ready to look at the other stories, with an eye toward possibly tearing them to shreds and seeing what I can salvage from the carnage.

Thinking about sending stories out again forced me to realize that I have achieved things in 2014, even though it felt like nothing happened. I got my first short story published. I had a second story accepted for publication. I was short-listed for the first time at  a pro-level magazine (though that ultimately ended in rejection.) Baby steps forward, maybe, but I’m that much closer to my ultimate goals.

I’m not quitting. I’m going to write again. To take on the highs and lows of sending stories out on submission. So, bring it on, 2015! I’m ready for anything you might throw my way…

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

A New Year’s Resolution post is probably one of the oldest cliche’s in the blogging world, but I’m going to write one anyway. Even if no one sees it, having my goals out “in print,” so to speak, makes me feel like I need to be a little more accountable for what I do.

2013 was my first full year of writing and submitting short stories on a regular basis. Because of this, I had no set goals, just a vague idea that I wanted to write 12 new short stories in the year, and to submit them as often as I could.  In the end, I finished 9 new stories, and did a total of 46 submissions. For 2014, I want to double my output: 18 new short stories, plus whatever novellas, etc., that pop into my head. I want to make a grand total of 100 short story submissions. No goals as far as responses, good or bad. That’s the part I can’t control. I also have my novel length work that needs to be sent on submission. I’ve been procrastinating on that, big time.

My other goals for 2014: to keep up with both this blog and my Twitter account on a more regular basis. Especially Twitter. I missed out on quite a few themed submission calls last year because I wasn’t paying attention to what was being tweeted by other writers. It really bugs me to be missing out on the Lightspeed special issue: Women Destroy Science Fiction. It sounds like a really fun idea, but I doubt I’ll be able to participate. I have only one science fiction short that is ready for sub. It was sent it out two days before I heard about the call, to a market that most likely won’t reply until after the deadline. And since I write more fantasy than science fiction, I’m not counting on coming up with something in time. 😦

For the blog, I’m going to try for one new post a week, on Mondays. We’ll see how that goes…

What goals/resolutions are you making in the new year?