You can take that title as “Honey, I’m home!” or as a scary reference to the return of a poltergeist. Either way, I’m glad to be back and eager to share my struggles and my successes.
I’m also going to tell you from personal experience, life can indeed get in the way of goals and best intentions. During the past year-plus, I’ve had a domino effect of physical ailments that culminated with four hospital stays, two of which were through the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I’ve had more MRIs than I can count, had surgery, then complications. All that is behind me now and I’m writing again. I’m even starting to feel normal. Yes!
For the past month or two, I’ve been dabbling at writing, but not really getting in the swing. Then a good friend urged…okay, pushed me into doing NaNoWriMo again. It was the best thing I could have done at the best possible time. I didn’t “win” by writing 50,000 words during the month, but it was a personal win because I wrote almost 28,000 words and that’s more than I’d written in over a year.
If there are any who don’t know about NaNoWriMo, a link is listed on my “Resources that can minimize struggling” page. It’s under Pages, to your right.
Despite a glut of fits and starts, abandoned ideas and good intentions, when I started NaNo on November first, I still had only the barest idea of what I was going to write. Instead of trying to finish one of my half-finished novels, I started a new one.
I had an idea with an accompanying paragraph that had been sitting in my Story Fodder file for a couple of years. By the time I got an actual beginning, a few characters and a direction, I realized the character my fodder idea embraced would probably start the sequel. He was a savvy, jaded sort, and the fella who poured himself onto my digital page was naïve, but earnest. He’ll be savvy and jaded by the end of this novel, I’m sure of it.
In order to keep my head in writer-mode, I also decided to surround myself with more writing-related situations and endeavors. To that end, I took over the reins of a Meetup writing group. I had attended exactly one meeting, when the organizer who had started the group had a family emergency and had to move out of state. That has also been a good decision for me. There will be more about writer’s groups in later posts.
My most immediate goal at this point is to finish what I’ve started, and I’ve started plenty. I now have three novels with 25K to 53K words finished, which is a third to a half or so done. One is young adult, and that one’s going to be first, since it’s also been in the works longest, is the least complicated, mostly because it is young adult, and has the most words to date. Oh, and there’s also a short story that every single person who’s read it thinks should be a novel. So make it four unfinished novels.
There. Now my return to writing is official. What are your short- and long-range goals and your tricks to keep writing?