NaNoWriMo 2018 Wrap-Up

So I ended my “novel” at 50,144 words on November 29… and it wasn’t a novel. It never moved out of the realm of “diary,” and I suppose that’s fine because it kept me writing for a month, and I have been slacking in keeping a journal anyway. This is also my first NaNo win since losing in 2016 and 2017, so that means something.

This was also the first NaNo in which I had a midnight writing session. The entire time, I was trying to keep my word count a couple days ahead in case something came up and I fell behind. So one night, I couldn’t sleep due to a variety of pregnancy-related issues, and I wrote an extra day’s worth of words at midnight (Or was it 2 a.m.? Can’t remember.) and didn’t really feel all that tired the next day. I was able to think a little more clearly when writing at night because there wasn’t any noise or anything to distract me, but I wouldn’t make a habit of it. I’m still much more a morning person.

My hope was that I could get incentive to write some fiction again, whether that be a new story or picking up one of the old ones. Writing whatever happened to come into my head didn’t give me any inspiration, which is surprising because it has done so in the past. Well, that’s kind of a lie because I did get a bunch of blog post ideas.

In the end, I think the only thing that really gives me incentive to write fiction is to reread what I have written in the past and think that I can improve on it or get the desire to continue it. Even 100 words a day in a story is better than nothing.

How did your NaNo go?

Writing: What Your Subconscious Needs

I lied. I’m actually doing NaNoWriMo this year, mostly because I figure that because this is going to be my last “child-free” (I normally hate that term) NaNoWriMo, so I might as well get something out of it.

And what have I got out of it? Nothing… except the realization that I have no fiction ideas whatsoever. I started writing in hopes that the very act of writing would trigger some kind of idea, but nothing has come to me yet. So I’ve been doing what is more or less a brain dump.

Maybe I shouldn’t say I haven’t gotten anything out of NaNoWriMo so far, because the brain dump has been useful in organizing my thoughts or at least getting them out of my head.

Perhaps my subconscious has no need to entertain itself with a fictional story this time. I realized that every time I have written something in the past, it is something that I needed to write because the underlying theme was something lurking in the back of my brain that I couldn’t articulate in normal words like a normal person.

Instead of saying outright, “I’m struggling with <insert problem here>,” I subconsciously changed it into a story and characters and dealt with it that way. Now, I don’t know if transforming everything into fiction helped to solve the problem, but it did put another spin on it and helped me process it.

So I’m thinking that not only does my subconscious not need to entertain itself, the “problems” it has are not the kind that can be solved or processed with fiction. So my new theory is that writing is a product of the author’s subconscious mind and the theme of said writing is whatever puzzle the author happens to be struggling with at the moment, kind of like when you’re having a problem and you wake up from a deep sleep with the sudden realization of what you need to do.

The subconscious mind is a powerful thing. Don’t underestimate it.

One Year, One Month, Handful of Days

Last month was our first anniversary, and I swear I didn’t forget about it! I’ve just been neglecting the blog. So anyway, now that I’ve been married one year, I found that I am suddenly <sarcasm> the Fount of All Wisdom and now have Useful Tips and Profound Musings </sarcasm>.

The main thing I learned is that no matter how painful or annoying or frustrating marriage is, it is better than being single. Having been single and relatively happy about it for many years, I never thought I would hear myself say that, but it’s true. It may not be true for all people, but it has been true for me.

Second thing: I’m wrong a lot! Actually, I’m wrong all the time! And it’s not the end of the world.

Third thing: A common goal helps so much. Whichever anonymous philosopher said that marriage wasn’t staring into each other’s eyes but staring together into the future was right.

Fourth thing: To the people who said the first year is the hardest… I don’t know how I’m supposed to know that until I get to the end of my life and compare the first year to all the other years of marriage.

Fifth thing: What mostly led us into disagreements was the fact that our families are so different. I come from a more introverted family, and his is far more extroverted than I’m used to. To this day, we are still trying to reconcile this. I don’t really have any Useful Tips here except that you need to remember the reason that you liked your significant other’s family in the first place. And there is a reason! You might just be too annoyed to remember it at the moment!

Sixth thing: There really is less room for selfishness. Being married doesn’t cure you of selfishness (duh), but it makes you question your selfishness and gives you a chance to push it aside.

Seventh thing, because the list wouldn’t be complete without seven: Patience. If you don’t have it, you will learn it. If you thought you were patient before, you really weren’t. Patience may also be called “the grace of marriage,” and that is something that comes from somewhere other than my husband or me.