Balancing Acts – NaNoWriMo Week 2

There have been many times in my life where I focused too much on the needs and expectations of my employer. I’ve always prided myself on doing the best job possible and sometimes, make that many times, my personal life has suffered. I won’t go into all the reasons, but fear, ego, and a strong desire not to disappoint would top the list.

Financial fear was most compelling when I was a single mom and it’s fear that can still launch me into hyperdrive. Only now it’s not such much about money, but more about delivering what I’ve talked about for years.

Many of you know that I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time and I really appreciate the messages of support I’ve received since I wrote about it here.

I took two days off from writing last week trying to find some balance between my darling, undemanding husband, my part-time job, and my work on the novel, and then couldn’t find my way back to the sweet spot of inspiration I had before my time off turned into a into a plot-line procrastination fest.

Having never written a novel before, I find myself getting bogged down in problem solving such as how to move a character from one period in time to another along with a whole host of what I tend to think of as ‘housekeeping’ issues. I’ll have to talk more about ‘housekeeping’ and what I mean by that later as the sun is well up now and I need to get to work.

I am way behind on my word count and my characters are standing around looking so bored that I’m afraid if I leave them much longer on their own, they’ll move on like Pirandello’s, Six Character’s in Search of an Author.

I should be back here in a day or two, but the only promise I’m making now is to getting more words on paper. I’m a long way from the 50,000 I need to make it a successful NaNoWriMo experience, but I’m still committed.

I’m leaving you with a few pictures from our day out last week. These were taken close to home at places we’re been many times before.

It’s interesting how easy it can be to discover new things if you’re open to revisiting familiar places.

If you need me, I’ll be at my desk.


Nesting, NaNoWriMo, & Getting Ready For Labor

Tenby Harbor, Wales 2010 (click to enlarge)

I’ve been busy lately getting ready for a month-long project that will likely be a bit painful in its production. For the last three or four years I watched wistfully as others talked about their own birthing experience with NaNoWriMo and wished that I could spend the month of November totally engrossed in turning out at least 50,000 words hoping to have a reasonable first draft for a novel at the end.

Work and travel commitments have kept me from being able to focus on it in the past and even though I now have a part-time job, I plan to work my life around getting this done. I won’t totally abandon my blog, but you may only see me here a few times a week during November.

I’ve had an outline tucked away on my computer since going to Wales last March with John. He took me to his favorite haunts and shared loads of stories about the years he spent there as a teen. One tiny detail in a story he told me lit a spark that has evolved into the beginnings of what I hope will be an exciting, read all night, can’t put down, novel with a twist.

Elizabeth Harper - Tenby 2010

I bet you’re wondering why I’m standing on the steps in this photo … after reading the historical marker above my head, I politely insisted John snap a photo of me standing under it. I’ve had my photo taken in London at another house where this famous female author lived and was excited to see she’d been here too.

I’m not sure whether I’d been touched by the muse at this point in our trip. I can’t remember the exact moment when my idea began to take shape, but I clearly remember what John said that inspired it.

You will too when the story is told as it’s pivotal to the storyline.

George Eliot

When you add up the inspiration, location, and content for my novel …  seeing this commemorative marker makes it feel even more pressing that my story should be completed.

How about you … is anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo this year or do you have any experience with it that you’d like to share?