Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Camping out NaNo style April 3, 2013

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:05 pm
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April is Camp NaNoWriMo time.  You may know about NaNoWriMo–that frenzy of writing that is National Novel Writing Month.  If you sign up, you commit to write 50,000 words of a novel in November.  (Like you have nothing better to do, what with American Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and the like!)   I find it to be a punishing pace to write 1666 words every day for 30 days.  You can join with or make writing friends who you encourage.  You write.  Your receive encouragement or pressure from your writing friends.  You write. You get inspiring emails from the Office of Letters and Light.   You write.   I did it (as you can see by the icon on my page), but I confess that while working full time and juggling all my other responsibilities,  it was really painful.

Camp NaNo is  much less intense.  First of all, you can set your own goal.  I set mine for 25,000 words in 30 days.  That’s the pace I wrote Grace Awakening Dreams and Power: an average of 834 words a day.   At that pace I finished a 157,000 word (400+ pages) novel draft in six months.    It is a nice, relaxing pace, and joining Camp will provide the discipline of commitment and accountability to stick with it, since I’ve gotten a bit lax in my writing routine lately.

So here I am, plodding along at camp.  I still have to introduce myself to my cabin mates (having some trouble figuring out how to email them).   Another nice thing about Camp, is that it doesn’t have to be a novel, so long as you’re writing.  So while I do have a novel that I expect to be working on, I can count blog posts, poetry, and articles I write for magazines.  Gotta love that, right?

Look! This makes 290+ words towards today’s word count! 🙂

See you at Camp?


Turn on the tap first November 10, 2012

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:25 am
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If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.

– Louis L’Amour

Isn’t this a remarkably logical analogy?  Pondering, ruminating, meditating, and considering are all very good, but until the thoughts are forced up the pipe and onto the page, we have nothing.

When I wrote Grace Awakening Dreams and Power, it took just under six months to go from nothing to over 150,000 words.  That’s about 25,000 words a month, half the pace of NaNoWriMo.  No wonder I’m feeling pressured.  I do my writing for the day, and hit ‘word count.’  It is generally about 850 words.  Inwardly I groan, because I need to double that count.  Sometimes I just go right back and pound out the next scene, but most of the time I need a break.

I would like to keep up the ‘assigned’ pace, but if I don’t, I just have to continue with my comfortable pace and I will get there eventually.  The important thing, as L’Amour says, is just to sit down and write.  As Diana Gabaldon reminds me, it’s important to write every day to keep up the inertia.

Write on NaNobots!  We shall get there eventually if we don’t give up!

NaNoWriMo Day 10:   1101       (Total for November so far: 13,900)


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