Monday, 3 November 2014

Monday Moanings - November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo Writes Again!

Yes folks, it's that time of year again when writers of all stripes and flavours set pens to paper and/or fingers to keyboards to crank out some 50,000 words by month's end. This annual writer's marathon which began on Saturday, November 1, is billed as a
"fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel."
Check out the NaNoWriMo website for all the details.

As was the case last year, I'm not a registered participant because firstly I'm not writing a novel and secondly, I'm not that driven, and so I'm doing a 'Lite' version. My approach is a little more relaxed because I've learned, finally, that it's okay to give myself permission to have fun, to accept the better offer when it comes along without obligingly picking up a side order of guilt, and it's okay to attend to my own well being.

My efforts last year got hijacked by the sudden appearance of a visual aberration that caused words to appear smeared down the centre field of view. The problem (epiretinal membrane in both eyes) persists and is even a little worse this time round, though apparently still not bad enough for corrective surgery.

I am undeterred! Over the past months I have learned to tinker with lighting, font size and type (yes - serifs make a big difference!), and line spacing so as to limit the impact of the aberration. I've learned to manage my time at the keyboard, limiting it to 30 minutes at a time so as to ward off eye strain, fatigue and headaches. I find it rather intriguing that I have less difficulty with my handwritten work. I do my best writing, my most creative and evocative writing, with my favourite fountain pen flowing across smooth white paper. When transcribing my longhand writing to the laptop, I don't have much difficulty deciphering the blue ink script. I suspect because my brain has already had a hand in the writing; it knows then what the words are on the page.

So what does NaNoWriMo Lite look like this year? Ah well I have a plan, a very organized plan to get my manuscript back on track, in just 3 hours a day x 30 days.
Week 1: Days 1 &2 - reacquaint myself with Scrivener®
               Days 3 - 7 - outline, outline, outline; get all those pieces already written and yet to be written, organized! 
Weeks 2 - 4: WRITE!
And how's it going so far?

Saturday: 4 hours (impressive eh?) updating the software, tinkering with the fonts - thank goodness for technology and good software architects who allow for format modifications, however tedious it may be to find the right menu and tab to do so - and working through some of the tutorial. My muse, reawakened from a long snooze at a writer's retreat two weeks ago, spent the entire time twitching in my write hand.

Sunday: 3 hours struggling to get through a few more tutorial lessons before giving up and moving on to reviewing what was already on my Scrivener® outline. My muse fought me every step of the way, her protests getting louder every minute, "I want to write. Forget the bloody outline. I want to write! Please let me write."

Today: All right, already! I hear ya. Come on babe, let's go write.

©2014 April Hoeller


  1. Well, I hope it works out for you today. Good luck. Mine is a slow but sure approach. Call me the tortoise. I have a hard time just scribbling any old words. They must be considered, carefully tasted, reread over and over to ensure they are in just the right sentence. Or in just the right story. Perfection, nothing less. Though I'm told not to worry about that until the second draft, I persist. I am trapped in my own personal battle with the will to let it go and the inevitable little voice in my head screeching...No That is not the right word for that spot. Fix it.

    However, I do persist.

    1. Nothing wrong with a slow but sure approach, Suzanne! And I do know how difficult it is to silence that inner critic and just write. Some days I win, some days the critic wins.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.
      Best regards and Write on!