Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 – What’s Going On So Far

I suppose I should update what I’m doing.

Considering I started this spring’s Camp NaNoWriMo escapades with no true focus on what kind of a story I wanted to write, I chose at the last second to work on short pieces instead of one specific story. After eleven days, this is where I’m at:

  • I’ve started a new short story that takes place in a paranormal-esque setting. It’s my first time delving into this sub-genre, so there have been some odd thoughts running through my mind these past eleven days. I kinda like that sensation.
  • I’ve come up with a new story to add to the Metzgerhund Retreat…which is a series I temporarily lost interest in. This new idea might have brought back the interest.
  • I’m penning a few thoughts and scenarios for an alien species I plan to use in a few upcoming stories.
  • I’ve also come up with some freestyle material. What I will ultimately do with it is anybody’s guess.

That’s what’s going on so far. Of course, this time, next week, I might be working on something entirely different. Thus is the randomness in my life.

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Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 – An Invitation To Write

I’m apprehensive about committing to this spring’s edition of Camp NaNoWriMo, mainly because I’m not even certain I’ll have the kind of time necessary to reach the 50K word mark.

Part of this apprehension, I’m thinking, comes from my horrible performance during last November’s NaNoWriMo run. We were short-handed at work during the first half of the month, and I signed up to cover many of the resulting empty shifts. I took my NaNoWriMo notebook to work and wrote as much as I could during the few minutes of break time I had, but I was falling behind my target word count at an embarrassing pace, to the point where I was more than 10,000 words behind schedule.

And that’s about the time where I was ‘promoted’ to a new position.

And that’s about the time I stopped participating in NaNoWriMo completely.

I wasn’t really that bummed about how things turned out; reading through what few words I did write down, I realized my supposed story was going absolutely nowhere, anyway. Each page was essentially a different topic. Instead, I went back to working on my other works in progress.

Just the other day—and for the first time since last November—I cracked open that NaNoWriMo notebook with fresh eyes. I still couldn’t find a discernible direction, but the overall result gave me an idea of what I can do this time around: I will create a series of short stories.

Keep this in mind, though: I reserve the right to change my mind a few dozen times before April 1.

Also keep this in mind: I’m still at that job I was ‘promoted’ to last November, so I still run the risk of having the same lack of hours to write as I did back then.

But, keep this other point in mind: this is an invitation to write, so I’m taking it.

As if I really need an invitation.

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Writing-esque Randomations

For about the past month and a half, I have been studying more than I have been writing. I’ll probably share what I’ve been learning and discovering in a future Bloggathah post; for now, suffice it to say that these studying exploits have led to me writing a lot more. Don’t look so surprised.

Earlier this week, I acquired a roll top desk. It’s not very big or all that extravagant, but it used to belong to my dad, and that makes it a highly treasured addition to my writing studio. Now…where in my writing studio I’m going to position it is TBD.

With me finally getting the hang of my (relatively) new job and (somewhat) settling into my new (less than a year) neighborhood, I’m thinking it’s time for me to go back to taking walks with a digital audio recorder. I’m surprised—almost disappointed—that I somehow lost track of how much fun of an activity that was for me. I’ve still got dozens of hours worth of digital files where I ran my mouth about story ideas; most of those ramblings will never lead to the written word, but playing them back and hearing the wound up joy in my voice has now officially motivated me to record a few dozen more hours worth of (potential) ideas.

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Stephen King made a profound proclamation to all those who want to be writers:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

If it were possible for me to agree with Mr. King’s statement more than 100%, I would. Reading opens the mind to other knowledge and other perspectives…which, for a writer, offers more options. And I very much like options. Especially when I write.

My issue is that I’ve almost always let my dyslexia convince me that reading was too uncomfortable and unnerving—and, by extension, too unnecessary—to become a habitual part of my everyday life. And, although I never gave it much thought until a few years ago, I’m sure ADD also played a part in keeping the book from in front of my face.

But, when it came to deciding how important a writing career was to me, I made a proclamation to myself:

“I want this.”

Ergo, I began making the time to read.

Dyslexia and ADD still piss me off to this day, so I don’t read as fast or as often as I’d like, but I am determined to maintain the proper tool box that will assist me in attaining my writing desires…and the options that go with it.

So, I pose this to my fellow writers: what are you reading right now?

To my non-writing friends: same question.

Answering “Your blog, Steve!” will, of course, score you some points.

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LINK: 16 Famous Designers Show Us Their Favorite Notebooks

In my apparently never-ending search for methods and tactics I can use to up my writing game, I keep an eye out for posts involving the whiteboards / storyboards / random notes of other writers. I’ve found—and this really doesn’t surprise me in the least—that, even if the examples I find don’t directly offer up any suggestions I can or want to use, the fact that I am beholding the thoughts of a creative mind almost always motivates me to get back to creating my own works.

Which is why I was so psyched when I saw that Co.Design shared glimpses of designers’ notebooks on its website.

I’m not a designer per se, but I maintain a creative notebook of sorts—several, actually—and they’ve been incredibly beneficial when it came time for me to work out a few issues with whatever story I might be working on at that time. Even better than that, some of my random nonsensical doodles or word games have turned into stories or lyrics I wasn’t expecting to write.

I’ve bookmarked this website, with the intent of revisiting it from time to time.

16 Famous Designers Show Us Their Favorite Notebooks

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m feeling a wave of creativity about ready to crash down on me.

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Murphy, the Writer

You have solved the problem of forgetting incredible story ideas while having no access to a PC or notebook paper by purchasing a digital recorder.

You have solved the portability and availability problem by purchasing pocket shirts and cargo pants so there’s always a place to store your new recorder.

You keep forgetting to purchase backup batteries.

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Today’s poem-esque indulgence…


Would you still create your art if the praising voices went silent?

Would you still stoke the creative fires to forge new works if your current works weren’t being noticed?

Would you still reach for your artistic tools if everyone turned their heads in disinterest?

Would you still have the will to bear your soul if you were the only one in the room?

I always stood strong in my belief that I would still create and still strive, even if withdrawals of support or moments of emptiness ever happen to me.

Until they did happen to me.

I hesitated in my creations.

I watched my fires dim.

I allowed my tools to collect dust.

I almost convinced myself I lost my will to share.

Out of distress—maybe it was out of habit—maybe it was out of a strength I never knew I had—I picked up a pen and shared with myself about these horrific things…the silence…the disinterest…the abandonment…I write about it all.

And, in that act, I understood.

I can still hear my own cheering.

I can still feel my own fires.

I can still wield my pen.

And I am still sharing, bearing my soul. Even if all these acts are for my benefit only.

All of this is, after all, apart of what I am and what I do. At all times. Others can cheer and partake as they wish. I will still be at it, no matter what.

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