The ramblings of a freelance writer, novelist and avid reader.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It’s November. What Else Would I Be Blogging About?

Yes, it could also be about the new Harry Potter movie coming out, but it's not. Maybe next time.

I’ve been in a writing slump for a few months – as you can probably tell from the lack of blog posts. It’s November, and I usually participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo); this year I decided not to. I was even OK with this decision through all of August, September and most of the month of October. I’ve been finishing up a second draft of my current novel and writing blog posts (not publishing mind you, just writing them) sporadically when a decent topic reveals itself. As the second week of October hit, I stopped writing altogether. No words, nothing, nada. If you are my facebook friend, you may have noticed those short little status updates appearing more and more on my page. It’s like that’s all of the energy I was willing to divest in writing. I think this goes beyond my lazy self into new and unchartered territory. I’m not sure what’s up with me. Writing is still what I want to do and when I sit down at a computer I loose myself in words completely. But my voice has been missing for quite some time and everything turns out lackluster and boring.

A couple of weeks ago I did some freelance work. I’ve decided that being a freelance writer means you are perfectly willing to freelance anything-with-words-as-long-as-it-pays. This means I will proof your novel, mark your paper, SEO-itize your website, train your trainer, or write an article. So while I did this freelance work, I found a word that wasn’t an actual word. It may be a word one day like frenemy or unfriend, but for right now it’s simply not. I loved this non-word and kept thinking about it. I went for a walk a week later, and the non-word popped into my head again. Only this time I was listening to my iPod and Lady Gaga (Alas, I’m becoming quite obsessed recently) was playing. Walking, thinking, listening to music – this is where the best book ideas come from; isn’t it? Two miles later I had my main character and a general outline worked out in my head. I spent three hours on the computer working out the basics and getting some rough ideas down.

And that’s it really. That’s what NaNoWriMo IS. It’s a ridiculous goal – 50,000 words in 30 days. When I’m done it won’t be good. I’ll dump at least half of those words and a handful of characters, but I’ll have words on paper again. Some of those words are bound to stick; at this point I’m just looking for my voice. I do realize it’s not a panacea – writing a novel in one month won’t cure all of my writing issues. Hopefully it is a step in the right direction though. Heck, I may even start blogging again…

Wish me luck and if you too are participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you words – lots and lots of words.


  1. Wow. I decided to do NaNoWriMo and now I think I might have overshot this time. I have no idea what I'm doing and haven't had more than 10 minutes a day to write. I'm pretty pissed about it. I even changed which novel I'm going to work on. Talk about the kiss of death.

  2. Hang in there Matt. Once you stop gallivanting around the world I'm sure you'll settle down and crank out the words. Also, I would like a postcard from Iceland, preferably one that reads "Land of Fire & Ice".