NaNo or NaNot, 2020 Edition

That time of year again, when the eternal question for many of us writer types is “do I participate in National Novel Writing Month?” I’ve thought about it a lot this year, probably more than most. I came down on the side of…kind of, maybe.

While some may say NaNo or NaNot, there is no “kind of,” that’s where i landed, and rather organically at that. I love the idea of going all in and, as a favorite aunt would say, going hell bent for leather toward a distinct goal. What to write, though, well, that’s where things get murkier. I love the idea of those who can dive in with no other idea than “I’m going to write something” and make it all the way to the end. That’s not me, and comparing the way I do things to the way anybody else does things is not ever going to work. Part of my day is set aside for putting on a podcast and getting on the bed with a bunch of sticky notes and/or index cards and setting out all the things I want to write in the next while.

For some things, it’s pretty clear cut. Come hell or high water, Melva Michaelian and I are going to get Drama King, our second jointly written contemporary, done and dusted, ASAP. Part of it is that we are eager to get to the third Love By the Book story, Queen of Hearts, but how flat out fun it is to combine snarky grumpmaster Jack and ray of sunshine Kelly (cue “Tomorrow” from Annie, which might be a reasonable choice for Kelly’s incidental music) and goodness knows we could all use any fun we can get this year.

There’s also kicking myself back into historical romance gear. I am taking my first step into indie publication, and exploring a new format -novella- and time period -medieval- and taking a wide angle view of the place where what I love to do best and what the market fancies converge. That kind of excites me, to be honest, and it also gives me a reason to play with stationery, which is my second instrument after writing. There’s also the desire to not write less about writing, but to write actual fiction and see the pages accumulate (hence the attempt to set up the new printer at long last after I write this blog entry) along with writing about writing. Maybe talking about it, too, because YouTube very definitely is partly responsible for me still being here (gestures in the general sense) after very definitively the worst year of my life.

Phew. Let’s take a break. First home decor photo I can share is below. Bit by bit, we are putting down roots and making this look like home. One of these throw pillows is not like the others.

purr-fect contentment, yes?

The new normal is still taking form, and I don’t want to rush it. I actually tend to get a lot more done, and the ideas flowing much more freely, when I set aside some time to play with pens or noodle around with Sims, some You Tube or podcast or TV show in the background, consciously working toward drinking x glasses of water a day, focusing more on getting story from brain to page, one day at a time, right now. I will probably give one of both Camp NaNos a go. That’s a tale for another time.

For now, this is Monday’s blog post, t he first one for November. I do have plans for less rambly, more focused sorts of posts, if you’re into that sort of thing. Types of stories I’m looking at writing, my renewed and boundless love for black paper notebooks and pens that write on them, planner lineups for the new year, and my reading plans for same.

The fun thing about NaNo, besides getting to cheer on all those who are officially participating this year or any other, is that the principles can be put into place at any time, and modified to fit the individual’s needs. Camp NaNo is one example, and writing, in general, is another. Writer friends are available at all times of year, and I am always thankful for mine.

Happy reading, and happy writing,

Anna

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