Taking the Challenge

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am overjoyed that the elections are now over. No more lawn signs, no more television or radio ads! I even get out of sorts when I go to vote. I feel lost when I go to vote because it seems a bit unnerving to be around all those strangers. Well, that’s my experience anyway. Though I refuse to let that fear hold me back from doing my civic duty.

And who else struggles with forgetfulness? As an Aspie, my short-term memory is atrocious! My dear husband gets pretty pissed off at me a lot for this and I feel ashamed that I keep letting him down. It’s not that I mean to forget, but I just can’t seem to keep all of that stuff floating around in my head in any certain order. And there is so much going on in there, contrary to popular belief. I can’t seem to ever turn it all off. There never seems to be a time when I can turn it all off. My brain is constantly a-flutter with junk pushing around inside for attention. I have difficulty in falling asleep, I believe, due to this.

I am also in the process of taking the NaNoWriMo challenge again, for the second year in a row. Writing brings me such joy, too difficult to put into the right words, even for this writer. But I believe it is the challenge of pushing myself to get 50,000 words written in 30-days that gets my heart racing and my imagination on overdrive. As an Aspie, I have that psycho imagination, meaning I have a huge one. My brain is constantly creating new characters, and story lines, scenes, conversations, and yes, even titles. Coming up with titles and names for your characters is one of the greatest joys for a writer. At least for me.

So if you are a writer and an Aspie, I hope that you are taking the challenge right along with me. Challenge yourself. Let your imagination run wild, whatever genre you enjoy writing in. Good luck, and happy writing.

The Best of Intentions

In the beginning, when I decided that I wanted to have a blog, my intentions were good.  I had set my heart on posting at least once a week, but, as you probably know, I’ve failed at that attempt.  My heart, though in the right place in wanting to do, can’t do much for keeping my promise to myself.  As a writer, not paid but still always a writer, I feel a lot of guilt over not accomplishing my goal of writing on a daily basis.  I just completed NaNoWriMo last month, which was also my first attempt at the 30-day challenge.  I am glad to say that I did complete the challenge and under the 30-days, by four.  I loved it!  I now realize that I have no excuses not to sit my butt down in a chair at my writing table.  I realized that I can whip words out quite easily, but it is the editing that is a bite in the ass!  Coming up with ideas was not a challenge to me.  My many uncompleted short stories can attest to that.  It is finishing them.  Because I know that when they have been completed, that means that the editing process must begin.  And that scares the hell out of me! 

Writing is my passion, yes, but along with having a great love for words, I have a total fear of rejection.  That’s why I found the 30-day challenge so refreshing.  I didn’t need to worry about editing it.  That will come later, if I so choose to submit it for publication.  I find it frightening to turn around and slice and dice my stories.  One does get attached to one’s imaginary friends.  Or at least I do.  You love them into existence and then you have to massacre the hell out of your manuscript to make it just right.  I struggle with that.  That’s why I am constantly trying to find just the right words, even from the beginning of a new piece.  Maybe that’s part of my fear.  Fear of not having it just right.  Fear of an editor scratching his or her head and wondering why in God’s name did I even submit this piece of junk.  I want them to like it.  I want them to understand where I’m coming from.  Sometimes it is from a happy place, other times it is wrenched out of the darkness from my soul. 

We have those moments as writers.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Be gentle with my characters.  They are fragile.  Just as I am.  I want to know that I have talent.  I want to be able to share this with the world.  I don’t need fame or riches, just the opportunity to share my thoughts, feelings, and voice with the world.  All I’m asking for is a chance to get out there, to be heard.  I love to write.  I love words.  I don’t want to be hurt.  But I also don’t want to live in the constant state of fear of rejection.  Can you relate?

Day 11 — Are we there yet?

Participating in NaNoWriMo month-long endeavor, I’ve become like a mother nursing her sick child back to health, while forsaking her other children in the process. Ever since November 1, I have put all of my other works on hold, focusing all of my attention and energy on this one piece. These 50,000 words that have drawn me into its evil clutches, not allowing me a day’s rest. Which, for this contest, is a good thing.

But along with this comes the fretting: will this novel ever take off? Will other people want to read it? Will it be good enough? Clever enough? Emotional enough? So my other ‘children’ cry out to me from my inbox. Pay attention to us! We’re so lonely! Don’t you care about us anymore? But I do. Very much. The separation is almost painful. I try to dwell on the thoughts and images of my unfinished works. I know that I need to return to them, to nurture them, to love them back into existence.

This narrow focus on one novel takes a lot of energy out of me. Though I have discovered how much I enjoy writing this way. It forces me to write. To produce. To share. To release my imagination out into the world, come what may.

I am happy to announce that I have stuck with it. We have just entered the second week and I am nearing 22,000 words. I believe that this is the most I’ve ever written. So along with the vast amounts of energy it takes to write this novel, I also am left with a sense of pride. Knowing that I am well on the way to completing something I set out to do. Something I normally struggle with. Commitment. Oh, I hear one of my unfinished babies calling out to me. I need to go and see to what they need. Until next time, my friends, keep those fingers flying!

NaNoWriMo Challenge

This is my first endeavor into the wonderful and exciting world of NaNoWriMo.  I’m four days into it and have completed my word count each day so far.  I’m up to 6,919 words.  But I am questioning my novel idea.  I am beginning to hate my two main characters.  Their personalities have gotten away from me.  They’re jerks.  Normally I try to keep my characters positive and people-friendly.  But not these two young men.  They are both alcoholics.  One worse than the other.  Sex-craved, chauvinistic, chest-pounding a-holes.  How did I lose control of them?  Is this a good thing to allow your creative juices to run away with itself? 

But I know this contest is only for a rough draft, and this work is definitely rough.  In more ways than one.  I have added a lot of swearing and sex.  These are two young men who grew up in abusive homes.  In trouble since elementary school.  Into heavy-metal.  Struggling to find jobs, and then trying to hold on to them.  I want to make them as realistic as possible, but being a female trying to delve into the male mind, it’s not an easy task.  But with this challenge, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone.  I needed to do something different.  Something off-color.  Something that wasn’t a romance.  Those would be easier to write, being a woman with a big imagination, and a love of anything romantic. 

So, four days into it, and not struggling…yet.  I’ve been warned.  It’s coming.  The doubts.  The boredom.  The fretting.  The damn-I-don’t-feel-like-writing-today days.  But this is why I write.  It is not to be in the spotlight.  It’s no longer about achieving the fame and fortune, but about just making a decent living while writing and the extra income it could bring in.  Would I love to be a full-time writer?  Yes.  More than anything, I would.  But I’ve learned something by reading a lot of blog posts, and writing sites that I write because I want to.  Not for fame, not for glory, not for the money, but because I just plain love putting words to paper, or to screen, in a lot of cases nowadays.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is in my blood.  Since I was a child, I had this intense desire to create.  I’ve tried other creative endeavors which I’ve failed miserably at:  painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, crafts…just don’t have it in me, though that talent does run in my family(somehow it just missed me).  But writing, creative writing, having the ability to create characters, and settings, and stories that can last throughout the generations.  I just want to write.  No.  I need to write.  There is no inner peace when I’m not writing.  I crave that peace, that serenity when I’m creating a new world.  It’s about the desire to share new and interesting heroes and villains, about describing the fight between good and evil, and that, in the end, I want to have my characters make a difference, in their lives as well as the readers’ lives.  Is that too much to ask?

So, each day will be a challenge.  To what extent, I have no idea yet.  To all those writing day after day, with the same fire in their souls that burns within mine, I wish you continued success.  Take it one day at a time.  Writing should never be a chore.  For when it becomes that, the fire slowly diminishes and begins to burn out.  Don’t allow that flame to blow out.  You can do this.  You have the creativity, the drive, and the passion to create.  Let it take you to places in the imagination that you never thought you’d go to.  Achieve your writing dreams.  I know I am.  For this is a challenge to myself to say, I can write 50,000 words in 30 days.  And if I can do that, then there is no excuse for me not getting a short story out in that time.  A little push never hurt anyone.

Until next time, friends, happy writing.

November is Almost Here!

Okay, just to let you all know that yesterday I signed up to compete(well, against myself) in writing a 50,000 word rough-draft novel in just 30 days. NANOWRIMO will be my very first attempt at this. A definite challenge for a writer who has difficulty finding time to write. But I figured I’d challenge myself, and this would definitely be a challenge. A challenge to my excuses, and a challenge to my imagination, and a challenge to my will-power. Can I do this? Will I make the deadline? What am I to write about? Do I go with a novel idea already partially started or with a completely new idea?

Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated. That extra push is always a great motivator. Has anyone done this challenge already? Is anyone out there attempting this one this year, like I am?

The last few days I am going through the Thesaurus and jotting down words to describe walking. Yes, walking. Why? I am trying to be inventive in describing how people in my fiction move. And there a many ways to describe: Stroll, stride, meander, amble…okay, I don’t want to bore anyone. I find it lots of fun, and entertaining, to begin the editing process. I am excited to finish up a piece and getting the chance to submit it. I know that this fear of rejection must be wadded up like used tissue(ick) and tossed into the trash. As writers, we know that fear can suck the creativity right out from underneath us. We cannot let that happen to us. We have a dream we must cling to. Never release it because of fear. Don’t allow anyone else to discourage you either. Do your best and always, always believe in yourself and your abilities. Write on, my fellow creative types. Until next time.