Monday, October 22, 2012

Nanowrimo

So for the last two years I've been doing Nanowrimo, but this year I'm doing Nanoedmo instead.

What is Nanowrimo you ask? Well Nanowrimo is a month-long novel writing challenge put on by the Office of Letters and Light (one of the only places I would absolutely LOVE to work and never consider a day work) where people all over the world sit down and write.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Now, 50,000 words is not a very long book.  My book was 68,000 words, most YA books are around 60-70,000 and frequently longer.  Many books are over 100,000 words.  But 50,000 words is a starting point.  The point of Nanowrimo is to write these words and then not editing them until after you have written those words.  Editing while writing works for some people but for most (me included) it slows down the actual writing and then writing doesn't get finished.  Nanowrimo is basically positive peer pressure to get people to continue writing and reach their goal.

More importantly, what is Nanoedmo?  Nanoedmo is the novel editing version of nanowrimo.  I wrote the book, now it's time  to edit it.  I have a very hard time editing, and it takes me forever to edit anything.  So instead of starting another novel (which I did in June with Camp Nano) I'm going to continue editing the one I already wrote so maybe I can pay off my student loans sometime in the future.

I love Nanowrimo.  My freshman year I did it by myself, but even though I wasn't hanging out with other writers in real life it made me feel so much less alone.  Freshman year was unbelievably hard for me, and connecting with other writers online made me feel less alone.  Sophomore year I got to hang out with some super awesome writers on my campus.  On the first night, when the clock turned to midnight we all sat in a circle on the floor of the library and wrote together, and it was amazing.  It was one of the most amazing feelings I've ever felt.  I had an anthropology class pretty soon after that and we discussed the concept of communitas.

Communitas is a concept in anthropology and other social sciences where it describes the feeling of being one with the people around you.  My professor's example was being at a protest for a cause you really believe in and feeling solidarity with all the other people at the protest.  My thoughts immediately went to the feeling of sitting in a circle on the floor in the basement of the AU library and feeling like my soul was merging  with those half a dozen other people's souls.  I can't really describe it, I can only encourage you to sit on a floor with other writers and just write.

But this year since I've already written a book, I need to edit it.  And I need motivation since I am so damn lazy about it.  More important things get in the way, like homework and studying and tutoring and SHS, and Phi Sigma Pi, and being absolutely terrified of life to come because I am 20 years old and that is pretty much what being 20 is like.  So Nanoedmo, please rectify my editing issues!

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's About Time

I know it's been quite a while, and I don't have anything new to report except that junior year at college is hard.  It's a lot of work, and that leaves little time for writing.  So I think I'm making a resolution this year to stop going online late at night and reading blogs and wasting time on, well, IWasteSoMuchTime.com.  Instead I'm going to try to get to bed at a reasonable time at night, so I can get up earlier in the mornings so I can write more.

Being twenty, being a junior, being a second semester junior, it's terrifying.  It makes me think about graduation, and grad school, and jobs (I'm a tutor this year), and life after the safety net that college provides.

I've accomplished a few things since my last post.  I turned twenty, got a driving permit, came to my junior year, planned a floor/building event, made new friends, got caught up in someone else's drama, accepted new brothers into my fraternity, and wrote several papers.  I also read Looking For Alaska, How To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Vinland Sagas.

I've done next to nothing for the book, except finished editing chapter 5.  Now I have to go back and work on my second rewrite of chapter 1, then continue forward.  I've also been planning out the second book.  Originally I had planned it to be a trilogy but now I'm thinking it's more of a diad.  I went hiking and sorted out a significant portion of the plot.

Stay Tuned.