Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

After a delightful breakfast with a writerly friend I was planning to come home and do some housework. Hmmmmm. So much for that idea, because instead of doing a grocery run, I came straight home, made another coffee, checked Facebook, read emails (some of which still need replies), set up a services page on my blog and am now writing a new post.

writingThe services page has come about, because a writing group friend has been studying and setting up a home based editing business. During my time at writing group, she has diligently edited all of our short stories and poems, so they could be placed in an annual anthology.  As many of us know, self promotion within the writing industry is hard work, so as well as offering her the space to promote her services, I thought some of you may appreciate adding your area of expertise to the page as well.

As an enthusiastic writer, I have not as yet had a complete book/novel published, sometimes I wonder if I ever will. I don’t believe this is a bad position to be in as writing for me is like a drug. Words on a blank page(or screen), paint pictures, reveal heart-felt truths, expose hidden dreams and create my own personal masterpiece. Once I have finished writing something I yearn to write more, it’s in my blood, I just can’t seem to help myself.

With my poor grammar and spelling skills I will always need a good editor to set me straight. My good friend D.J. from Stutely Tales(http://stutleytales.com/), spent hours with me, editing a short story a couple of years ago. Her support and advice was incredible, where I learnt a great deal about the craft of writing and dissecting the text, realising that I still have a lot to learn.

My local writing group has also been a great resource, as we regularly hand our work over to group members to be critiqued and edited before submitting to magazines and competitions. I am often amazed at how diverse the comments and feedback can be, within such a close-knit body of people.

When it comes to moving forward with my writing, I took the plunge last week and opened up my NaNoWriMo file for the first time since December. Although I was a little upset to realise that I did not save the last 2,700 words, it made pretty good reading and a buzz of excitement stirred within. With my ‘Bottled Sunshine’ (Vitamin D tablets) improving my mental health/attitude, I am preparing to launch into a fresh season of polishing up a potential book.

So I am feeling a little more encouraged and motivated at the moment and that is a very good place to be.


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P1050098Currently I am evaluating 2012 and wondering what the year 2013 should look like.

Setting some achievable goals is paramount to realizing our full potential and it is my belief that many of us set ourselves up for failure before we even get started, by setting the level of achievement way too high.

Focusing on how to reach our potential, over seeing each and every milestone, with small yet solid steps, could result in dreams turning into reality, hopes being realized and the unimaginable experienced in wonderfully creative ways.

Last year was the first year I didn’t proclaim a ‘New Years Resolution’. It was the first year I didn’t fail in my decision-making process within the first month, and I managed to achieve; mind-boggling steps into the unknown, heart breaking conflict as I challenged past mindsets, allowed awe-inspiring ideas to come to light and placed my written thoughts into the hands of a world audience.

The roller coaster of 2012 is fading into the past and it was year of mixed emotions, a year to draw on as I write my way into the future. I boldly quoted Byron at the start of 2012, declaring that there was ‘Pleasure in the Pathless Woods,’ little realizing the power it would have on my life, as I sat and waited for inspiration to come.

Pioneering a new path for my life was not without its pot holes, change did not necessarily suit those around me and while there was a cheer squad urging me on, I very much sensed there were those who became fearful of the new Sandie starting to emerge.

As I write this it makes me sit back, stare at the words on the page and ask difficult questions, ones that probably need an answer.

Am I chasing impossible dreams?

Do I have the courage and stamina to partake in this writing relay?

Am I fit enough to compete in a pentathlon of wordy events and projects?

What do I want to gain from this experience?

What sacrifices will I have to make?

What sacrifices am I prepared to make?

…..the list could go on and on and on.

I am beginning to sense that 2013 is a make or break year for me; It’s time to discover once and for all, my creative gifts and their potential. Working on my 30,000 word NaNoWriMo attempt and bringing it to a marketable completion, is high on my list of projects. Yet somehow, I need to create a balance, where I can enjoy the isolation of my own creative space and continue to build the communicator that lives within, the one who loves to be surrounded with people.

It is a challenging call, one in which I will continue to share with you all as you read my posts in 2013.

A big thank you to those who have come along side me during 2012. As we turn the page and usher in a new chapter for 2013, I pray that we will find wisdom and guidance in all that we do.

God bless you


© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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Ok folks it’s confession time.

A follow-up on my NaNoWriMo meltdown

After a good start in the NaNoWriMo stakes, I was feeling more than a little pleased with myself. My performance and what I was churning out day after day was giving me a great thrill as the NaNo’ graph had me finishing the 50,000 word count with days to spare. Caught in the grip of ‘NaNo Fever’ I lived, breathed and perspired (women don’t sweat) over the pages of writing that were amassing in front of my very eyes. I was excited, very excited.

 Then it hit me or did I hit it? All the things that I was putting on hold, just to reach this November thirty deadline. Important things like family and friends and my responsibilities towards the community in the volunteer programmes I’m involved with. I wasn’t even sure whether I had a book in me, but here I was pounding away at the computer and neglecting the continuity of love, respect and value that I already had from those around me. A crash was imminent.

 For me, I decided, that writing like this was indeed dangerous for my health. A day of feeling physically sick, wrestling with my fears and doubts had me bound up in a deep dark place. Unable to face my computer, not even wanting to go to Writers Group I decided that I had to stop, pull myself together and take a good hard look at what I was doing to myself.

 Then that still quiet voice challenged me to take a look in that mirror, and remind that person not to be too harsh on them selves. Resetting my goal to 30,000 was a compromise; I was not giving up, I still had a destination to reach.  Now I am thrilled to have crossed that line, with 2,000 words to spare, giving me something to work on in the New Year. Homework for writers group has been completed with pleasure, even writing a ‘Blog Post’ has seemed like a walk in the park, compared to the pressures of NaNo’.

So do I believe that writing is dangerous for you health? 

No, not really. On the whole I find it a cathartic time. A good place to reminisce with my past, capture lost dreams and navigate a world of fantasy. I believe it has the power to heal and bring restoration, as dark secrets are brought to light, then dealt with in the hands of characters and plots.

 I love writing. I love the quirkiness of having a single word or line, then having to wrap a poem or story around it. I love the surprise of reading the unexpected on a page and wondering who this Sandie really is.

 But I do need balance.I need to; walk those rhythmic shore lines, listen to the harmony in the sand and surf, scavenge the beach for little treasures of inspiration, then soar as I take flight and see what the future has to offer.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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Just to give you all a bit of a NaNoWriMo update.

This whole experience has been an interesting excursion into the world of the serious writers, with those of you who call it your profession. Realizing and accepting that I am a hobby writer, the kind of writer who is navigating the world of blogging and throwing a few short stories or poems at magazines and competitions, has been an eye opener. It has been an excellent way for me to survey my surroundings, then take a step back and start to assess where I want the future to take me.

So far I have kept up with the word count, but my pre- NaNo life, has had to be squeezed into shorter time frames adding a great deal of pressure to an already busy time schedule. I think my poor hubby is also experiencing this NaNoWriMo madness, as I test out my own version of  ‘Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals’.

Over the coming days, as my NaNo’ efforts get closer to the brick wall of  ‘Where to next?’ and probable abandonment, I don’t believe it is a bad thing. Honesty with myself and my aspirations are far more important, so is the integrity of my faith and lifestyle. My head has a growing list of pro’s and con’s, where finding the right answers seem to be disguised in negative responses,  failure being the greatest villain.

Failing to complete this assignment is not, to my mind a failing, if I come out of it with more insight and a better understanding of who I am and where I am going. I am a winner on so many more levels, as I do have the makings of something that may polish up and go somewhere one day. There is also a greater understanding of the pressures my peers are under to produce their novels and while I already take great delight in cheering them on. From here on in, they will encouraged in much richer ways.

On a final note for my ‘Wednesday’s Writing Thoughts’, a blogging light was turned out this week, when one of my fellow bloggers took the very wise and courageous move, to concentrate on her family and the books she was already working on. This may have added to my deep and meaningful dilemma, but has reinforced the very real fact that family do come first in my life too.

It is on that note I bid you all a good day and see how close that brick wall really is.

While some walls should be climbed over or broken down, this one offers me protection and a safe boundary. I may however need to grow a climbing rose against it and enjoy the blooms, along with their heady perfume, over a coffee or two.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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I’m not sure what I expected when I started this NaNoWriMo adventure. Sitting at my computer for the additional hours has certainly caused my body to rebel as joints have stiffened and my brain has lapsed into melt down mode.

There have been moments of brilliance where I have read through something on the computer screen and thought, ‘Wow, did I really write that?’. Then at other times, every sentence is hard work and I feel like I’m word constipated.

There is nothing easy about this experience, my growing admiration and thoughts go out to those who call this their career, as I recognise that this how they achieve their work. I figure that by the end of this process, I will know where I want this journey to take me. Deciding if I have the skills, drive and stamina to succeed at what has always been a dream.

Attempting my daily word count and maintaining everyday life has also been a challenge, I have to keep telling myself it is just for a month, then I remember that after this comes the editing stage. Currently, I know I am 13,000 words ahead of where I was this time last week and perhaps, by the end of the month, I will have the basis for a complete book.

Dreams are possible – You just have to wake up and make them happen.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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Tomorrow is D Day and I was still undecided.  Should I go for it and give it a go, or put it off for another year?

I registered three weeks ago and have been reading all the comments on Facebook and Twitter but nothing seemed to be spurring me on, or creating an excitement. All I’ve been sensing is my current commitments, the daunting work load and a 50,000 word mountain of my waffle.

As I deliberated over this, I asked myself some tough questions and the answer that seemed to keep bouncing back is one of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear that I would not be able to keep up with the work load, fear that life would drop its bundle and have me racing off in another direction. Fear that I may even succeed and then need to go the next step to rework and edit. The small, four letter word, having the unique ability to hold me back and consume me.

Then a friend sent an email. Apparently only 10% of the people taking part in the 2010 NaNoWriMo completed the assignment. Suddenly the expectations I’d been placing on myself shrivelled up, I could do it and sit comfortably with the 90% that gave it a go. Or perhaps, just possibly, for one of the first times in my life, come out in the top 10%.

I was not going to be back in a classroom, with a teacher breathing down my neck, pointing out my faults and telling me I’d not amount to anything. There was no sports field with hurdles, long jump or relays to embarrass myself in. Just a web site, with a very large data base and a worded marathon to challenge my time management and focus.

What’s stopping me?

Nothing now……..

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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After hours of changes and deliberations I posted ( as in, put it in an envelope and stuck a stamp on it posted) my entry for a local short story competition. In the end I had to send it on its way, not because I was running out of time, but because I kept seeing changes I could make, another twist, another word duplicated in the next paragraph and so on. The relief to drop it into the post box was freeing, although I did continue to edit and refine the piece a bit more.

Now I am back to a slightly bigger project. One that will see me having to knuckle down and get on with it. I need to set a goal; one that is realistic and achievable, one that fits into the life of a writer who has a home and hubby to manage, one that also allows me to continue doing voluntary work within my Church and local area.

I think I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me, but I do have a good support crew who will keep me on track and on task. Belonging to a writers group is a great way to surround yourself with like-minded people, so is having published friends and being part of this wonderful online community, that I affectionately call Blogisphere.

Who knows. This time next year I may be wondering how to publish a book, rather than wondering if I could dare to join the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and push myself to the limits.

Now I had better get back to it.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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