Getting My NaNoWriMo On!

You read it right…

I am getting my NaNoWriMo on!

What is THAT you ask?

It stands for National Novel Writing Month! And it’s CRAZY!

But today it begins.

And as if that wasn’t enough… I’m also doing my third year of PiBoIdMo!¬†That’s Picture Book Idea Month and it’s a lot of fun. (I’m in it for the people… the ideas are secondary ūüôā

Anyway… I successfully completed my 31 Days in 2012 with the Nester which felt like a huge accomplishment for me. I basically wrote as many posts in the one month as I have in the entire life of this blog. What a breath of fresh air it was for me to take time daily to think creatively!

So here I am, November 1… the very next day after I’ve completed October’s challenge… beginning two more.

It’s amazing what can be done with two kids in kindergarten.

Half days.

Aside from that… I’ve never written a novel and have actually been quite apprehensive to ever do so. However, after some encouragement from a writing coach and my Germany/Austria Regional Advisor, Kirsten Carlson… I’m going for it.

So what does that entail?

Writing 50,000 words in the month of November.

Getting the first draft down.

And telling everyone I know that I’m doing it.

That way I can’t quit.

Because you can¬†all see, with my little widget on the right side, how many words I’ve written and how far I have to go. You’ll know wether I finish or don’t by watching for “participant” to change to “winner” by the end of the month.

So here, borrowed from my SCBWI regional friend and fellow-writer, Lindsey Cole… is the writer’s affidavit for NaNoWriMo.

Noveling Affidavit*

I, Marcy Pusey, hereby pledge my intent to write a 50,000-word novel in one month’s time.

By invoking an absurd month-long deadline on such an enormous undertaking, I understand that notions of craft, brilliance, and competency are to be chucked right out the window, where they will remain, ignored, until they are retrieved for the editing process. I understand that I am a talented person, capable of heroic acts of creativity, and I will give myself enough time over the course of the next month to allow my innate gifts to come to the surface, unmolested by self-doubt, self-criticism, and other acts of self-bullying.

During the month ahead, I realize I will produce clunky dialogue, clichéd characters, and deeply flawed plots. I agree that all of these things will be left in my rough draft, to be corrected or excised at a later point. I understand my right to withhold my manuscript from all readers until I deem it complete. I also acknowledge my right as author to substantially inflate both the quality of the rough draft and the rigors of the writing process, should such inflation prove useful in garnering me respect, attention, or freedom from household chores.

I acknowledge that the monthlong, 50,000-word deadline I set for myself is absolute and unchangeable, and that any failure to meet the deadline, or any effort on my part to move the deadline once the adventure has begun, will result in well-deserved mockery from friends and family. I also acknowledge that, upon successful completion of the stated noveling objective, I am entitled to a period of gleeful celebration and revelry, the duration and intensity of which may preclude me from participating fully in workplace activities for days, if not weeks, afterward.

Signed,

Marcy Pusey

So cheers to all of the other NaNoWriMo challengers! And off I go!!!!

*¬†Affidavit¬†originally from Chris Baty’s NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM! Novel-Writing Kit.

Grace for Writing

My brush swish-swishes on the wooden project, dib-dabbs into the water, and swirls in new and vibrant colors. The creature in my hands is transforming slowly. First one coat of paint, then another. Details here and there. At any given time during this journey, my art piece is anything but beautiful. But I don’t mind. That’s part of the work and I smile as I dream about what it will yet become.

Even though I don’t know what it will become. I don’t start knowing exactly how it will look. Colors blend. Bleed. A line here, a dot there can change the direction I thought I was going with it.

It strikes me.

How is it that I’m so gracious with my painted art, but not nearly so with my writing?

The tappity tap of my fingers beat an uneven rhythm. The story unfolds. It’s rough. I’m discouraged. I close my laptop and decide to wait for my next moment of silence and hope it coincides with a moment of inspiration.

But wait.

Just like a painting, a story never begins beautiful. The course of it’s adventure changes as the author adds a word here, a sound there. The story tells itself with time. Patience. It certainly can’t be rushed. It’s not supposed to be beautiful until the end.

The finishing touch completes my beautiful Tree of Peace. *sigh* I spray a delicate sealant to protect my hard work. The mess between then and now is not too far from my memory. But the beauty of this moment- holding the finished piece and knowing the journey it took- makes it priceless.

My writing deserves the same. The same diligence. The same appreciation of their messy process. The same hope of their future completion. And the priceless feeling of holding something beautiful and knowing from whence it came.

A new day.

I commit to loving my writing with the same tenderness that I show my other art.

How about you?

Rejecting the Rejection… With a Form Letter

This is for my friends who are working so hard that rejections are flying in through mail, email, and text messages. I received two last week myself. (The following has been adapted from here).

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your letter of November 2, 2011. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal of my project for your publishing program at this time.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of publishers, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting writers, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will send you a signed contract for my manuscript with your publishing house. I look forward to seeing my book in print by next Fall.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

Sincerely,

Marcy M. Pusey