How NaNoWriMo Inspired Me to Write Again

While writing in my traveling pocketbook during OctPoWriMo, I rediscovered my first entry I had written on December 1st, 2017 following NaNoWriMo 2017. I thought I’d share it on the first day of NaNoWriMo 2018.

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Yesterday, I finished NaNoWriMo with just two hours to spare. This was after writing 3,000+ words a day to make up for all the zero days I took.

I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it. I was up against a 10,000 word deficit a week ago and no matter how much I wrote, I would end back at the start[ing] point because the goal was always increasing by 1,667.

I had to overcome running out of ideas, lack of sleep, stiffness in my hands and elbows, my own cats, who only wanted to sit on my lap when my laptop was present.

50,000 words later I feel accomplished yet disappointed. It’s not my best writing, it’s not supposed to be, but oh wow! did I drag things out. The verbs are weak. The scenes are stagnant. There’s too much chit-chatty dialogue.

Part of me was reaching for that word count goal but deep down, I know that I actually suck at writing. Not just that but I lack the passion I once had for it.

There’s a difference between sucking but passionate and sucking [and] apathetic. You get no joy from the latter. Yes, there was that moment yesterday when I was excited, an adrenaline rush going through me when I had 2,500 words to go — 1000 words, 500 words, 100 words. Sweet relief!

But like last year’s win [2016] I found that I had created 50,000 words of filler and not a story.

I need practice. That’s the ultimate answer. NaNo is the most I write in a year and with the exception of a single poem [Paper Flowers] and scenes for my novel, I wrote nothing else.

So I decided to do this. My goal is to write something everyday — a poem, a glimpse of a story, novel scene, whatever.

On the days I miss, I will put the date on the page and nothing else. The page will remain blank.

My hope is that I can build a habit of writing and practice, expand my repertoire and write stronger stories. And empty my head of all the glimpses and glimmers of stories rattling around in there.

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I managed to keep that goal going for four days, then I dropped it faster than a New Year’s resolution.

But I was writing again. In March, I dusted off this blog and started posting what I was writing. On a whim, I signed up for the April A-to-Z Blog Challenge the day before it kicked off.

And I completed it but that’s not all.

I continued writing throughout the year and started submitting a few poems.

October was a whirlwind month. On October 1st, The Drabble accepted and posted my poem “Broken Gods”. Then Hypnopomp Literary Magazine accepted my poetry submission for their sixth issue.

The writing hasn’t always been easy. There are many areas I need to improve, but it’s progress.

Which is more than I could ever ask for.

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For those of you who’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo in the past, has it changed your writing habits? For better or for worst?

Let’s stay in touch during NaNoWriMo. Connect with me on Twitter! @sm_saves

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The Fifth of November

America,
I know it’s been hard to get out of bed,
but tomorrow is such an important day.
I won’t demand you change your sheets,
or wash your hair,
or find clean clothes to wear.
Because I have a greater favor to ask of you.
Please leave the sanctuary of your home,
find a polling place, and vote.
Even if the lines are long.
Even if the sun is gone.
Even if you think you don’t matter.
(You do!)
It’s time to make your voice heard too!

America, please. Go vote!

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Today is the last day of OctPoWriMo. I wrote this poem on Monday with the intent of posting it on November 5th (the day before Election Day) but why wait?

Here is the polling place locator from Vote.org. Please encourage other’s to vote too.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog, liked, and commented during OctPoWriMo.

Best of luck to those who are diving into NaNoWriMo after this. Wishing you endless sources of inspiration and a steady stream of words.

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Click on the link below the badge to visit the other writers taking part in OctPoWriMo.

Connect with me on Twitter! @sm_saves

You can also find me on NaNoWriMo under S. M. Saves.

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Departure

As the trees shed their leafy clothes
A northern wind begins to blow
Let’s wave to autumn’s departing light.

I gather the leaves with my hands
turn a fiery pile into a bed
to lie with my arms wrapped ’round my mother
to keep her from slipping under winter’s cover.

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Click on the link below the badge to visit the other writers taking part in OctPoWriMo.

Connect with me on Twitter! @sm_saves

You can also find me on NaNoWriMo under S. M. Saves.

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Bad News (a Free Verse)

Bad news.

No tears
make me wonder
if I lack a soul.

Bad news.

Dissolve from reality
to stay strong
and pretend for a moment
this isn’t happening.

This can’t be happening.

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Click on the link below the badge to visit the other writers taking part in OctPoWriMo.

Connect with me on Twitter! @sm_saves

You can also find me on NaNoWriMo under S. M. Saves.

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The Dream Eater (A Minute Poem)

The most palatable of dreams
are nightmare streams
stewing for years
in fear-filled tears.

They shine in the eyes of dreamers,
frequent screamers.
Seen in the light
brighter at night.

Harvesting is a painless chore.
No need for gore.
While they sleep
I silently reap.

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It took me a moment to figure out why this is called Minute Poetry. I believe it’s because there are 60 syllables total and not that it should only take a minute to write.

Click on the link below the badge to visit the other writers taking part in OctPoWriMo.

Connect with me on Twitter! @sm_saves

You can also find me on NaNoWriMo under S. M. Saves.

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