10 Beginning Nanowrimo Tips From a 12 Time Veteran

 

(*Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Click here to read more!)

The first year I participated in Nanowrimo I failed spectacularly.

Actually, what I did was quit before the first week was over, with less than two thousand words written. I never touched that novel again (it was a cool idea, I should dust it off one of these days!).

The next year was 2005. I managed to finish on the very last day, just barely squeaking over the 50k mark. It changed my life. Since then I have participated every year but one. Twelve times in total, winning 10 of those 12 years. Last year I stopped at 40k when my mom had surgery the last week of November, choosing sanity over the last ten thousand words.

Every year I try to recruit more writers in participating in the month-long writing marathon. (Come on, you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it!) So I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for success.

1. Read No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty
(Not an affiliate link, I just love this book!)

After my disastrous first year, I knew something had to change for me to actually make it to 50k. So I bought Chris Baty’s book (he’s the founder of Nanowrimo!). It’s basically a week by week guide to a 4 week first draft, teaching you how to let go and ride the roller coaster that is National Novel Writing Month. If the thought of writing 50k in a month is paralyzing, this is the book for you. (If you regularly write 2-3k every day, you can skip this step. Actually, why are you even here? You’ve obviously found something that works for you!)

 

2. Turn off your internal editor.

When I read Chris Baty’s book, this was a revolutionary idea for me. You know that annoying little voice in the back of your head telling you to delete adverbs and to stop writing this scene because it won’t make it into the final draft? That’s your internal editor. In November and all of my first drafts, I lock that annoying little whiner in the basement of my brain and do what I want.

Don’t worry, you’re not being mean. You can leave her food and water. But she can’t come out until December. There’s no place for her during Nanowrimo.

Your job is to write, not write well. Get the words down on the page and worry about how they sound later. It’s all fixable, as long as you have a draft to fix.

 

3. Commit.

If you’re feeling wishy-washy about this whole idea, it’s likely you won’t finish. Let’s face it, most of us need to see the word DEADLINE approaching fast to actually get anything done. (I hate all of you who can’t relate.)

If you want to do this, commit. Commit to yourself. Tell your family and friends. Don’t leave an easy way out. Bribe yourself if necessary. (There’s an entire awesome shop full of Nanowrimo swag. My first year I bought a t-shirt. I wore it until it was nearly translucent.)

 

4. Write what you’re most excited about.

If you’re like me, you don’t just have one story you want to tell. It’s likely there are several hanging around, just waiting to be pulled off the back burner and worked on. Forget what you should be working on. Pick the idea you’re the most excited about and use that as your project. If you’re excited about your novel you’re more likely to finish it than give up at the first sign of difficulty.

 

5. Put off anything unnecessary (but nothing necessary).

I know November is a busy month for many, because of the approaching holiday season and those pesky families expecting attention. Try to put off anything you don’t HAVE TO do. Stock up on prepared meals and coffee. Buy some extra underwear to avoid doing laundry. Plan to be less social. (Nanowrimo is a great excuse to avoid people. Use it!)

Save your energy for writing and for the most important things in your life. Don’t quit your job and release your children into the wild to fend for themselves. Those are necessities. (And don’t come crying to me when you’re broke and the kids are scratching at the back door.)

 

6. Stockpile words when you can.

Those first few days of any project are always the most magical. This novel is amazing! There’s so much you want to do with it! I could write forever!

Week two that feeling is starting to wane and by week three you’re wondering why you ever started writing something so stupid.

Take advantage of those early days when the writing seems effortless. Build up a buffer of words for when you can’t find them later on. You’ll thank me later.

 

7. Take a day off if you need, but never take off two.

Going along with the previous tip, at some point during the month you are going to need a break. Don’t take one until you absolutely need it, but also don’t feel guilty. We all need a break from time to time.

The key is to try* and not take more than one day off. One of the reasons Nanowrimo works is because you never have time to leave the story. Any more than one day and I start forgetting my characters. I lose the momentum of what I’d previously written. It’s easier to keep going than to start up again.

*Confession: I don’t always listen to this rule. That’s why I say try. Just like I say I’m trying to eat more vegetables. 😂

 

8. Connect with the community.

One of the many reasons I love Nanowrimo is the sense of community. All during the month there are thousands of writers filling the forums, sharing everything from writing dares, stories of success(or failure), and even offers of help with research from experts in certain subjects.

Join in. Make new friends. Participate in word wars. Ride the wave of other’s excitement and use it to keep excited.

 

9. Skip scenes and use placeholders.

Speed is the name of the game during Nanowrimo. If you’re stuck on a difficult scene, or just don’t feel like writing one, throw in a place marker (”insert scene where we figure out that big plot point I still haven’t figured out yet”) and move on.

This also works for names you’ve forgotten and facts you aren’t sure about. Example: my early drafts are often littered with things like “WHATEVERHERLASTNAMEIS” and “PICKANANIMALTHATWORKS”. Stuff like that. Don’t get caught up in the details.

 

10. Just keep going, no matter what.

There will be days when you want to quit. (And just feel normal for a bit. No wait, that’s a song…) You will want to heave your laptop out the window and forget all about this crazy novel writing thing. You’ll be tired and stressed and completely out of ideas.

JUST KEEP GOING. Write absolute nonsense. Do crazy things just to get your word count up. Use the replace-all feature to give all your characters names like Billy Joe and Becky Sue for a few extra words. My first year I got desperate and got rid of contractions.

Do whatever it takes to get those words down on the page. Remember, they don’t have to be great. They don’t even have to be good. But they do have to EXIST and I promise you there will be gems mixed into the mess that you couldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Bonus:
11. Ignore everything I’ve said.

Just like writing the rest of the year, take all my advice with a grain of salt. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. HAVE FUN! Consider it an adventure. I personally think every writer should try Nanowrimo at least once, but it’s okay if it isn’t for you. It’s okay if you can’t write 50k. Every word you wrote got you one word closer to your goal and that should be applauded.

Are you planning on participating in Nanowrimo this year? Did you find any of my tips helpful? Do you disagree with any of them? Please do share in the comments.

 

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2 Times My Characters Took Over

Easily my favorite part of writing is when things happen I didn’t plan. I’m writing away, typing fast, and all of a sudden I’m staring at the page in surprise. I didn’t plan that. I never knew it about the character.

I’ve read of authors who insist that you not let your characters do this. They believe you must be in control at all times.

I disagree. Strongly. Those moments where the unexpected happen are what bring your characters to life. It makes them real, and it’s an amazing feeling.

 

 

I thought I’d share two such moments from my current work in progress, Running Away. They are actually two of my favorite scenes in the novel and were instrumental in helping me realize where edits would have to take place.

This first example is a conversation between brothers Clarke and Zack. Clarke is a young widower with a young daughter. Becka, who has been living with them and taking care of his daughter, was recently rushed to the hospital with pregnancy complications.

 

“Whoa, wait a minute.” Zack stopped him with a hand on his chest. “Clarke, you gotta talk to me.”

“About what?” Clarke practically radiated with excess energy as he paused.

“About why you’re freaking out like this.” Zack stared him down. “What’s going on?”

Clarke looked away from him. “I couldn’t get the door open,” he said finally.

Zack waited patiently for him to continue.

“I couldn’t get the door open and I couldn’t find the little thing to pop the lock and so I tried ramming it with my shoulders like they do on TV because I heard her fall and she wasn’t answering me.” His chest rose up and down as he breathed heavily. “And when it finally opened she was lying on the floor and there was blood on her jeans and-”

Zack put his hand on Clarke’s arm. “I know it must have been scary.”

Clarke took a deep breath. “I haven’t felt like that since I identified Arianna’s body at the morgue after her accident. I thought she was dead.”

“But she wasn’t,” Zack reminded him.

“Yeah but by the time I realized that I thought the baby was…” Clarke leaned his head back and Zack realized he actually had tears in his eyes.

“Clarke,” Zack murmured, shocked at the raw emotion written across his brother’s face. He’d never seen him cry before, not even when Arianna died.

“When we were first married Arianna got pregnant.” Clarke let out a gasp of air. “I wanted to tell everyone but she wanted to wait. We were just getting ready to tell everyone and the baby was gone” His jaw tightened. “I never thought I’d have to take another bleeding woman to the hospital again.”

 

I think I was as shocked as Zack was when Clarke told him about the miscarriage. I’ve worked on this novel on and off for years and a previous miscarriage was never even considered. But it made so much sense! Of course Clarke was freaking out. He’d done that in previous drafts and I finally knew why.

 

 

The second example takes place at a family cookout. Clarke and Zack have four older sisters and Becka was meeting one of them for the first time. (Well, she was supposed to be meeting her for the first time. I found out later I’d mentioned another meeting which will be deleted in edits. Oops!)

 

“Becka, this is my daughter Allison and her husband Paul.” Ellen gestured to an elegantly dressed woman with pale blond hair styled perfectly in a gentle bob right at her chin. Her blue eyes were clear and piercing and when she raised her chin Becka was unsurprised to see a strand of what looked like real pearls around her neck.

“Hello,” Allison said coolly, her voice filled with self-assurance that Becka suspected she would never feel herself. Allison held out a perfectly manicured hand for Becka to shake.

Gina bumped into the back of Becka’s legs which was the nudge she needed to step forward and place her decidedly not manicured hand in Allison’s. Allison just barely clasped her hand and moved it in a gentle up and down motion before withdrawing and placing her hand back in her lap.

The regal woman wearing creamy white slacks and a fuzzy pale pink sweater gestured to twin blond girls sitting politely at her feet, each sporting impeccably neat twin french braids. “These are my daughters Angela and Amanda, but we call them Angie and Manda.”

Becka smiled at the girls, who smiled politely back but looked uninterested in the newcomer.

Allison next turned to the toddler who was trying to squirm off of his father’s lap. “And this is our son Adam.”

Adam looked like he belonged in an entirely different family. His head was full of riotous coppery curls and his jeans were worn around the knees. The button up blue striped shirt his mother had likely pressed neatly before dressing him was half untucked and thoroughly wrinkled. He finally succeeded in getting off of his father’s lap and tumbled onto the floor, climbing to his feet and shaking ginger curls out of his eyes.

“Hi,” he said, looking up at Becka.

“Hi, Adam,” she responded, smiling down at the little boy who had already wormed a tiny bit into her heart.

“I’m not Adam, I’m Batman!” The little boy announced, climbing to his feet and running out of the room with his arms out as if he were flying.

 

Allison is not a new character. Neither are her children. But I had no idea just how prissy she was until this scene.

And Adam! This red headed hellion spring fully formed out of my fingers and straight into the page. I adore him, and I’m going to have to find a way to use him in future novels because he’s just awesome.

One extra Allison moment just because I love it:

 

When baby Justin made it extremely clear to anyone with ears that he wanted his dinner, Claire casually sat down on the other side of Becka and tugged her shirt down to feed her son.

Out of the corner of her eye, Becka watched Allison take a double look and then elbow her husband until he averted his eyes.

“I swear I don’t know how she managed to get pregnant twice,” Claire muttered under her breath, clearly having seen what had just happened. “She was a really fun kid, I don’t know how she got so uptight.”

Becka snorted.

Justin let go of his mother’s breast with a loud pop and leaned his head back to grin at Becka.

She couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled up, both from the grinning baby next to her and the completely appalled expression on Allison’s face from across the room.

“Come on munchkin,” Claire said, coaxing her son to return to his meal, “let’s not give Auntie Allison an aneurysm.”

 

(My niece did that once, stop eating to smile at me, and it completely melted my heart.)

 

So, there are two examples of times when my characters completely surprised me. Does this ever happen to you? Do you enjoy it or do you chastise them and put them back where they’re supposed to be? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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How to Write When You’re Depressed

No really, does anyone know?

If you came here looking for answers, you’re probably going to be disappointed. I’m not sure there are any answers. Depression is a terrible creature. It rears it’s head at the most random moments, leaving you with a terrible feeling of inertia that’s almost impossible to explain, even for a writer.

I guess it all depends on how depressed you are. Is it depression with a little d or Depression with a capital D? If it’s the latter, reading a blog entry or trying to psych yourself up probably won’t do anything. Then there’s situation depression vs chemical depression. Each requires different approaches, many requiring professional help. (Seriously, don’t suffer alone. Get help. There are so many places that can help you. No one should have to go through depression alone.)

Today I wanted to write. I really did. I’ve been busy with stuff related to a family wedding (congrats Cal and Amberlyn!) but now that it’s over with I finally have the time and brainpower to write.

But I couldn’t. It really is the weirdest thing. I know what I want to do, I know what I want to write, but somehow I just can’t make myself pick up my laptop. It’s right there but my body doesn’t listen to my brain and I just CAN’T.

Today I didn’t write. Sometimes it’s better to recognize the feelings and give yourself permission to just take care of yourself. I went on Twitter. I talked to my mom. I identified today’s depression as situational (I miss having a cat) and took a step to change that situation (I put in an application for adoption at a shelter. Don’t tell my dad!).

I even did something writing related. I picked out a notebook to make a ‘story bible’ of sorts in. I looked at articles I’d saved on Pinterest and made a list of things I want to include. I made a list of characters that need profiles or short bios (Dang this book has a lot of characters).

After all that, I felt a little better. I decided to write the blog entry I’d jotted down an idea for earlier. I’m ignoring my perfectionist side and posting this without a fancy graphic or making sure I share with every social media page I have. I’m just putting the words out there and maybe I’ll come back later and do the rest.

I don’t know how to write when you’re depressed. I don’t know how to write when you aren’t. All I know is what I do and whether or not it worked for me on any given day.

Do you suffer from depression? Or any mental illness really? How does it impact your writing life? Is there anything that helps you when you’re having a bad day? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Camp Nanowrimo 2017 Day 1

In addition to the regular Nanowrimo even in November, there is Camp Nanowrimo in April and July. I didn’t participate in April, but my fellow #TurtleWriters on Twitter convinced me to join them in July.

Camp Nanowrimo is different from the regular event in several ways. You get to set your own goal (go ahead, set it as low as you want and rejoice in meeting your goals!), you can revise, write short stories, nonfiction, ect, and you can join a cabin.

The Cabin features is possibly my favorite part. You can join a random cabin or choose one filled with friends or people with similar interests. (I’m in the #TurtleWriters cabin this year) The cabin is basically a chat section where you can cheer on your fellow cabin mates and complain about how behind you are.

If you already knew all this, I apologize. Thought I’d sum it up for my family/friends dutifully following this blog so I’m not talking to myself.

I was originally going to work on a detailed outline for my Untitled Mystery Series so I’d be well-prepared for November, but a few days ago I got a better idea.

My novel Running Away is about a widower raising a little girl. I’ve been trying to motivate myself to return to this novel and get started on revisions. I thought a good way to do that would be to write a short story, a prequel, something I can share for free and (hopefully) build interest for the upcoming novel. The prequel will explore Clarke’s first days after he loses his wife and the support his large family gives him while he struggles with the sudden single parenting of an infant.

father photo

My goal is 10,000 words, but I’m going to go where the characters take me. If I feel the story has been told before then, I’ll move on to one of my many unfinished projects or try to stockpile some blog entries for when I’m feeling uninspired.

All blog entries this month will include my current word count and a short update on my progress.

Day 1: 1,124 words.

Are you participating in Camp Nanowrimo? What are your goals and what are you working on?

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Do You Love Writing or Do You Love Having Written?

Recently I put up a poll on my Twitter account and asked my followers if they loved writing, or they loved having written. Most writers seem to follow in one category or the other, with a few who felt they fell into both camps.

I used to say I loved to write. As a child/teen, I wrote in every spare second I had. It wasn’t uncommon to see me carrying a notebook around or using those random blank pages at the end of books to scribble down as much as I could possibly fit of story ideas or scenes. 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that it’s a little different for me. Yes, sometimes I still get hit by the writing bug. Something (usually a scene) will appear in my head and I have to grab the nearest notebook or device to write it down before I lose it. Those moments are magic, and usually some of my best work.

Many hobbies seem to come down to the same question: Do you love the process, or do you love the product? I’m a knitter, and while I used to love both, these days it’s all about the process. I love the routine, the challenge, keeping my hands busy. When the project is finished, I’m inclined to just toss it aside. I give away most of the things I make these days. The things I don’t give away tend to languish in a corner, waiting for the finishing touches so that someone can actually wear/use the item. 

For writing, it seems to be the opposite. I won’t say I hate writing because that would be a lie. It’s just that I love the finished product more than the process of writing it. I write the books I want to read, and there’s nothing more exciting than reading the first draft and seeing it all come together.

The writing itself is hard. I have to force myself to sit down and put the words onto the page. I’m tempted every day to just give up. What keeps driving me is the future, knowing that when I finish there will be a book for me to read. A book that I wrote, that I enjoy because I wrote what I wanted to read.

All of you out there who love the writing process itself, I envy you. Because the vast majority of the time I’m just powering through, writing as fast as I can to get to the finished project.

There are other parts of the whole that I love. I love the planning stages. I’m not quite a plotter, not quite a pantser either. I write down a general idea of where things are going, which is mostly a list (sometimes physical, sometimes just in my head) of scenes/events that are going to happen at some point. I try to figure out my characters as much as I can. I adore research. I’ll happily pour myself into hours of figuring out details I may or may not ever need.

My brain is full of facts about places. I can tell you what it’s like in Baja, Mexico and Venice Beach California. I can tell you places you should see there and what the culture is like. I can converse about being a hearing child of deaf parents or the dirty details about what it’s really like to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury. I love the little details.

I don’t even mind revising. I like to identify the major plot problems and then just set the novel aside. I think about these problems as I go along with my life, and one day I’m at the grocery store and it just hits me. The solution is there just waiting for me to write it in.

But when it comes down to sitting at my laptop and writing the actual novel, it’s my least favorite part. It’s what I push myself through to get to the better parts.

It doesn’t mean I hate writing because I don’t. It just means that I have to work harder than some to get into the flow and get the words out. It means I’m likely to complain and whine that I don’t wanna write today. Some of that is probably tied to my depression I know, but the rest is just who I am.

So how about you? Do you fall firmly into one camp or the other? Or are you somewhere in between? I’d love to hear your thoughts and discuss this further with you.

 

Pinterest Graphic

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What I’m Not Writing

If it keeps raining like this, we’re gonna need an ark.

My plan for today had originally included swimming and getting some sun, but the expected rainstorm surprised us and came early, quashing my plans. Now I’m stuck inside, listening to the downpour, and more recently, the thunder.

I’ve come to realize I’m at this place in my writing where I’m really not sure what I’m doing. I sort of have active projects, but nothing that I’m regularly working on. Instead, I’ve just been spending a lot of time on Twitter and occasionally writing a few thousand words here and there.

I have lots of choices. I’m in the planning/plotting stage of what I’m hoping will be a cozy mystery series about a former NYPD cop with PTSD and Agoraphobia. The first draft of that is going to be written in November for Nanowrimo, but I’d like to get as much as I can figured out before then. Unfortunately, the only times I’ve written mystery I’ve done it completely blind, with no idea “whodunnit” or where things are going to go, so I may not be as prepared as I’d like.

I also have a story called Running Away, which has been in the works on and off for almost fifteen years, believe it or not. It was once a couple short chapters of a fanfiction, which turned into regular fiction and became my first Nanowrimo win. The year after, I wrote the first of several planned sequels. A few years after that, I wrote yet another of those planned sequels for Nanowrimo. And then in 2014, I decided to do a complete rewrite, which spanned the 2014/15 Nano years.

That incarnation of the novel has been collecting dust for awhile. It’s over 100k words and nowhere near finished, but I did write the epilogue, so I know where I’m going. I’ll admit, I got stalled after I let my mom read it and she said my hero was “sexless”. She was right, but I was frustrated and let myself take a break. I think the time away has been good for me. Letting the story percolate in the back of my mind has solved a few problems and I’m probably ready to start the second draft. Which is a good thing because there are four planned sequels (or stories in the same family).

And then there’s the fanfiction.

The story I’ve been working on is what I affectionately refer to as my “Hulk chopping wood” story. I worked on it for Nano Camp a year ago and have a lot of plans for it, but didn’t really want to post until I had more finished. I did finally post the prologue and first chapter of it about a month ago. It was nerve wracking because the relationship I’m exploring isn’t a popular one (there are a lot of people that hate it) so I knew I wasn’t going to get a ton of feedback on it. It was just a story I wanted to tell, or more accurately, the story I wish someone else had written so I didn’t have to.

I had the next chapter all written and was planning on revising and posting it the next week. But then Mr. Muggles (my cat) died. That very day I’d been planning to finish, so I ended up shoving it aside and taking the time to grieve. I finally was feeling up to it and had most of the chapter edited when a mishap with Scrivener (totally my fault) had me scrambling for a backup and praying I hadn’t lost everything. I managed to get a working backup, but unfortunately, those nice edits were gone. I have a decent amount written after that but was having trouble getting from the beginning to one of the major turning points. I think I’ve solved the problem as of this week, so hopefully, I can fill in those missing chapters and start posting again.

I have an NCIS story called “The Middle Ground” that hasn’t been updated in a few years. It might be my most popular story I’ve had to date, 249 reviews last I checked, almost 70k words and 15 chapters posted. I got around 40k written last November as my Nano project, but haven’t been able to update it because I still haven’t figured out the clue someone finds that closes the case. I literally have everything written except for that. I’ve been promising for years I haven’t given up on this story and I haven’t.

The last story I haven’t been writing is another NCIS story. It’s the sequel to another story called Driftwood. I have a complete first draft, and I posted the first two chapters. I got pretty good feedback, but life got in the way and it got pushed to the back burner. All it needs is re-writes and would easily take the least amount of time of any project to complete. I should probably focus on it more.

Well, that’s it, the full list of things I haven’t been writing lately. I’m hoping that by laying it all out here I can make sense of it all, and figure out some kind of priority/rotation/schedule, which I’ll post here when finished.

Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any suggestions or opinions on what I should be working on or just something to say, I’d love to hear from you.

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How Nanowrimo Changed My (Writing) Life

I was nineteen the first time I participated in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). I wrote about 2 thousand words and quit. It had been a whim and I was by no means surprised that I hadn’t finished.

I’d never finished a story in my life.

Not really, anyway. I’d been writing for around a decade, and I could count the number of things I’d finished on one hand. And I wouldn’t have needed all the fingers. I’d certainly never written anything close to 50 thousand words.

The next year I purchased Chris Baty’s book No Plot, No Problem. I read it from cover to cover. I decided I was going to try again.

It was 2005 and I was in the process of moving to New York State to live with my sister. My laptop had broken in October, so I was waiting for my new one to come in the mail. I spent the first two weeks of the month with a pink notebook, scribbling until my fingers were screaming and writing the word count at the top of each page (I literally counted each word separately).

When I finally got my laptop, I was behind. I wish I remembered how far behind, I just know it was a lot. I had to type in two weeks of words as well. It seemed impossible.

A couple hours before the deadline, I validated my novel.

That last week was a blur. I remember sitting cross legged on my bed, with trashy court television shows playing in the background, typing as fast as I could. Somehow, I had made it.

The feeling was indescribable. I had never written that much in a year, let alone a single month. I couldn’t believe I’d done it. I ordered a winners t-shirt to commemorate the occasion. (That t-shirt finally became so transparent it had to be thrown out a couple years ago. I wore the heck out of it.)

Over the next 11 Novembers, I participated in Nanowrimo ten times. I won nine out of those ten times. I completed eight novels (2014/15 was the same novel). In 2016 I had to give up at 40 thousand because my mom had knee replacement surgery.

Nanowrimo changed my life. My writing life at least. I learned how to turn off my internal editor and just write. I learned how to let go and let my characters do my own thing. I learned how to finish.

I left that first novel alone until January 1st, when I printed it out and eagerly read it. It was terrible, as predicted, but something amazing happened.

There were scenes I had no memory of writing. Best of all, I wasn’t as terrible as I’d expected. I’d learned so much about my characters. I suddenly saw the holes in my plot. Best of all, there were some gems in that first draft that I never would have seen if I hadn’t finished writing it.

In 2014 (and 2015) I decided to revisit that first Nanowrimo novel. In two Novembers I achieved a new personal best: 100 thousand words on a single novel.

I couldn’t have done it without Nanowrimo.

 

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Introducing LydiaEWinters.com

Welcome to An Anxious Author. I am said anxious author, Lydia Elizabeth Winters. I thought I’d take a few minutes with this first post to give you a little background information and a mission statement of sorts for this blog.

Biography:

I was born and raised in Southern New Hampshire. I currently reside in a small town on the Vermont border (I can see Vermont from my window!). I have an upstairs apartment in a house I share with my parents and the memories of my tempermental kitty, Mr. Muggles.

Mr. Muggles
October 2007-May 2017. You will be missed.

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. An avid reader from a young age with a big imagination, it was a natural transition. As a teenager I began writing fanfiction, something I’ve continued to this day. I ran a website for many years where I posted all my writings and where I made a lot of good friends I still keep in touch with.

LitTrip 2015. Wish I could have been there!

I’ve never been bored a day in my life. My current hobbies include knitting, spinning (as in yarn, not on a bike), memorizing the Nations of the World song from Animaniacs, reading, and of course, writing.

One laptop for writing, one for procrastination.

I’m a thirty-something proud aunt of five and great-aunt of three who is trying not to feel ancient when I remember those things. My mom is my best friend in the world and we are freakishly close.

Youngest Nephew is getting married in July. See? Ancient.

My apartment is full of geeky memorabilia, including my large Funko Pop collection. My bookshelves are overloaded.

old pic of the collection

Goals:

1. I admit, starting this blog is at least partially in the hope that a little accountability will help me keep in a good writing routine. After all, if I don’t write anything, I won’t have anything to post!

2. Making some new friends. You can never have enough writing friends. People who understands having a search history that could probably get yourself on a terror watch list.

3. Share what it’s like to live with chronic mental illness and how that impacts my daily life, including how it impacts my writing.

4. Generally be an outlet for myself to talk about life and whatever else is on my mind.

If you made it this far, I’d like to say thank you in advance for giving my little blog a chance. Please forgive me while I figure out what the heck I’m doing.

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