The Challenge

Christmas songs, hot chocolate with whipped cream, the twinkle of the full-to-falling-over Christmas tree…. It’s December at last. I can’t really say that the year has flown by for me. I have learned and grown more in 2014 than in almost any other year of my life.

That improvement is what brings me to my personal writing challenge: to write 2,000 words a day. You better believe that I have a spreadsheet set up, but I’m not doing this to fill in the cells with pretty numbers or have a fancy chart posted on my wall. All my life, I have known that I’m meant to be a writer. Translation: I’ve known it in my head, but not yet in my heart. Continue reading

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Post-NaNoWriMo Reflections

I’ve just finished the crazy, ridiculous, wild ride that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month… check it out!). There’s something distinctly unsettling about the end of the madness: on the one hand, I’m so excited to have finished and to return to normal life (whatever that is), but on the other, I’m already missing terribly the late nights and word wars and wonderful support that can’t be found anywhere else.

This year’s NaNo consisted of several different stories: a thriller, which is about half done; a completed fantasy duet; a way-out-of-my-comfort-zone but amusing, unfinished short story in the parody/satire sub-genre, which enjoyed little of my attention but made me laugh; and, finally, my at-long-last attempt to commit to word what has rattled in my brain for the better part of ten years: the fantasy to which I refer simply as the Long Story.

Working on multiple novels during November has worked for me in the past. Last year’s The Misadventures of Meryllius McVey, six novellas which consistently grew in length as I moved on to the next in the series, were written chronologically, but the quick pace of the stories made it easy to breeze through them. My record for November word count happened when I wrote two stories chronologically.

But this year, I learned so much about my writing style and comforts that, even had I not shattered my previous record for word count, I would consider the month an enormous success. Bouncing between projects allowed my brain to rest from the problems of one novel while still making progress by working on another.

I know that no one reads this blog, but I’m going to pose the question to cyberspace: what practice of writing do you find works best for you? Are you a dedicated, one-project writer, or do you find that writing multiple stories at once makes it easier to get them on the page? Does this interfere with your determination to finish your novels?