Today is more than just the beginning of a new month. It’s also National Author’s Day.
And it’s the beginning of National Novel Writing Month.
In case you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo (as it’s more commonly called), the idea is to write a rough draft of a novel totaling 50,000 words in 30 days. It started as motivation for those people who say they will write a book “someday.”
“Someday” is here.
It’s also encouragement for those of us who do write and who do have novels written to dust off the idea for the next book and get going on that.
That’s where it’s relevant to me.
A couple years ago, I wrote Navajo Rose (under the pen name of Kat O’Reilly). My sister-in-law asked where the next book was. I said there wasn’t a next book because it’s a stand-alone. She insisted that another character needed her own book.
I thought about it and decided she was right. A couple days ago, I finally found the inspiration for the hero. So I started it last night/this morning at midnight.
I’ll update about my NaNoWriMo progress every Saturday through the month. In the meantime, are you participating in NaNo? What are you working on?
A few years ago, I did a presentation on creativity tips to the Torchlighters Toastmasters group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had the entire presentation written out. It lasted less than 10 minutes, so the accompanying notes/article isn’t very long.
But here it is. One of the promised treats for your Trick-Or-Treating Halloween pleasure.
Friday is Halloween. In my town, trick-or-treat night is Thursday. Why? Football games on Friday. There is concern for the traffic before and after the games and kids not exactly paying attention running to and fro.
I’m not blaming the kids. It’s hard to avoid getting excited. So I agree that it should be changed for the safety of the kids getting their treats.
Speaking of treats…
Starting tomorrow and going through Friday, I will have a “treat” for you on this blog. Each one will be up for a limited time. Keep on the lookout so you won’t get tricked when they get taken down.
In a conversation with my mother earlier, I mentioned that when I think about everything I have to do tomorrow, I feel overwhelmed.
She said I’ll get over it. And she’s right.
I’ve decided that when you take on anything new, there is always a learning curve (or a RElearning curve, as the case may be). I’m in that now. Yes, I know how to use AP style. I know the format for news stories. I’m having to relearn part of it though. This goes along with “The Wheels Are Turning” post from the other day.
Today was more…intense, I guess, than I expected. The assistant editor was back from vacation and trained me on how to do area briefs and obituaries. I worked on an article that I did the research and interview for on Friday. I learned the proper form for submitting my invoices to AR. I want to go over the article I was working on one more time before I call it done. I’m actually pretty happy with it.
Tomorrow, I need to come up with some interview questions for an entirely different subject, do the interview, type my notes, and finish a Halloween round-up article that I’ve been collecting information for.
Can I do it all tomorrow? I think so. Part of it, I have to.
I guess the point of all of this is to say that with my calendar, notebook, and revamped skill set, I’ve got this.
What are you working on that causes you to feel overwhelmed from time to time? I can pretty well guarantee you’ve got it — whatever “it” is — too.
It is easy to get lulled into the belief that writing is writing is writing. Today, I was reminded that is not necessarily the case.
Researching articles for news writing is a different ballgame than researching for magazine articles. True, some of the basics are the same, but the process itself is different. You have to ask different questions of yourself and of your sources for news writing (reporting) than you do for magazine writing.
This is not a complaint. It is a statement of what is.
I also realized the power of flattery in getting a potential source to be more amenable to meeting for an interview. This was an unexpected realization. Yes, I know people like to be complemented, but I underestimated how valuable a tool it could be.
For example, a potential interviewee seemed rather reluctant to agree to talk to me. Then I mentioned the research I have already done on his work and how I think it looks like A Very Good Thing.
He asked when I wanted to meet for the interview.
I think flattery is probably a tool that is best used sparingly, otherwise it could seem insincere. I think, too, though, that it is a valuable tool and should not be ignored.
When it comes to the actual writing, I am having to retrain myself about such things as when to abbreviate and when to use the full word/term and whether or not to use the Oxford comma.
Yes. The wheels are turning. And I swear I can feel the rust of unuse falling off as they move.