National Novel Writing Month

Each week in november there's a new NaNoToon to enjoy.

I’ve always loved to write. As a kid I read tons of books and made my own versions of them. For three years now I have participated in NaNoWriMo, which is an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is simple: write 50,000 words in november.

It’s a challenge I’ll tell you that. Each year it’s a struggle for me to keep going. The first week is allright, the second week is absolute hell. After that I’m okay again. The hardest part of it though is when your creativity is low, you’re basically typing nonsense and you have to keep going. Sometimes it feels like you are ruining your story. Sometimes it feels like you are breaking the necks of your favorite characters, the ones you spend so much time thinking about.

The best part of it though is when you finish. Oh the rush! You finally got that story down on paper, you wrote some shitty stuff, but you also wrote some really cool parts. And a story is never finished after just the first draft. Now you are getting to re-reading it, and maybe editing it. I’ve found that re-reading is fantastic. You get to relive this crazy month, you get to see all the good parts you wrote and get to work on the parts that aren’t as good.

The most important part of NaNoWriMo is that the story is finally written down. It’s been caged inside your head, for probably far too long. I usually spend about 6 months thinking of an idea, developing the story in my head before I get to write it down in november. The story is my creative child in a way. And finally seeing it out in the open is really a great feeling. It also feel great to be able to say you wrote a novel. (Come on, try it!)

The NaNoWriMo offers a great website and  community with everything you need to keep writing and to have fun while you are doing it. There’s the Write-a-thons and the write-ins organised by various chapters all over the world. There’s the forum where you can talk about your issues getting your story together or where you can adopt someone else’s idea into your own story. The thrill of meeting so many people who are just as into writing as you are, is incredible.

I highly recommend you try NaNoWriMo once. It’s a great experience.

Until next time,

Vanya

 

(Image source: http://nanotoons.net/ ; The NaNoWriMo website: http://nanowrimo.org/ )

Blank Paper Panic

Writing is hard. That first moment when I open a new, clean sheet of virtual paper is a moment of sheer panic sometimes. I know I want to fill the entire sheet with words, but what words? What will I write about, what will my characters say if I tell a story? Will they be as amazing as I pictured them? I mostly end up not writing at all. And that, dear reader, is about to change.

I consider myself a writer. Yet as I recently discovered about myself, I don’t write all that often. Actually, I write only once a year, during November. More specifically, I only write 50,000 words, during November, when I participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘fine writer you are!’. This seems true. How can I be a writer when I just don’t write all that much? This fact is one of the most prominent reasons I’ve started this blog. I like to write shorter stories. They allow me to tell the things I want to say without filling empty sheets of paper with useless ramblings, as often happens to me during my writing spree in November. I like to put something useful down, something you won’t waste your time with, something that will make you feel inspired. A blog will certainly help me achieve that goal.

Being a writer comes in two parts. The first part is important, namely that you should have ideas and the ability to write down words and stories. The second part is even more important. The second part is actually doing it. You can be an amazing story inventor, with superb story twists and structured characters, but if you don’t write it down there will never be anyone to tell you you are an amazing story teller.

This is exactly what I’m practicing right now. I need to quit in only thinking about my ideas and start writing them down.  Now don’t let me deceive you, my stories, my blog posts, won’t be perfect. They’ll have flaws. I might be too serious at times or too shallow. I might make grammatical errors (because English is not my native tongue) and I might not make sense occasionally. I hope you’ll read through that and I hope you, as my reader, will take the time to respond and tell me what I did wrong. Feedback is one of things that will help me improve my writing. Feedback will make me write better and it will make me strive to make them better. I’m a perfectionist at heart and knowing that my writings aren’t perfect is a thorn in my eye, so PLEASE, feedback is appreciated.

It seems I’ve conquered the panic for my first blog post. My job now is to remain brave and keep filling the sheets of paper with my words, I hope, of inspiration. I’d love to know what you thought of my first blog post and how you deal with ‘blank-paper-panic’.

Until next time,

Vanya

(Image from http://familyhw.com/2012/09/write-on-the-power-of-putting-pen-to-paper/ )