Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo #2 Getting my Groove Back




Weber State's Nontraditional Student
Literary Journal T-shirt design for the year.
Life has been crazy the past few months.  I was on the right track.  Working with a writing group weekly, a president for chapter of a professional writing organization, and a managing editor for a student literary journal are all things that should have meant I was doing something right.  Right?  I have what (I think) most writers would dream of if they were trying to build their resume.  Yet over the past few months I’ve lacked something: Perseverance.
I'm the President of the Wasatch Writer's Chapter now.



I stopped writing with my writing group and blogging weekly a few months back.  Why? I could give you all sorts of reasons.  I got busy with school.  I worked on my addiction recovery.  Our house flooded.  But none of them strike at the real heart of what is going on with me: “I’m not making writing a priority.”  I haven’t blogged, I haven’t worked on anything new, nor I haven’t been to my writing group, because I haven’t made them priorities anymore.  And if I want to be a professional one day, I need to incorporate writing into my daily life in a healthy way.

So after two attempts at Camp NaNoWriMo this year with spectacular failures, I’m signed up for the Official NaNoWriMo event this year again.  I did it because I need a community to help me make my writing a priority again.

A twitter writing community.
You might wonder why a person who is super busy with school, married life, work, a literary journal and an organization to manage would want more on their plate.  Quite simply, if I’m not writing the other writing activities in my life have no meaning. How can I inspire anyone to keep writing if I’m not doing it? How does my urging people to submit to my literary journal have integrity if I’m not writing? How can anyone in a writing group with me feel my criticism is valid if I’m not in the trenches with them?  And most of all how can I look myself in the mirror and say I’m a writer?  Bottom line, I can’t.  So I’m going back to where I began last year and finding the strength I learned there to continue this journey.

Another Online writing community.
A few nights ago I had plans of using the novel I wrote last year and finishing it off for my NaNo piece.  It is even on the website still.  But last night something clicked, if I want to really be in the fray with everyone I need to be doing something new.  My words need to suck.  My head has to be in the clouds.  And it is hard to get to that place when what you are really doing is editing an older story.  So I decided to do a NaNo of short fiction.  I figure I’ll get through roughly six to seven short stories by the time all is said and done.

This also supports me for the most important goal of my young writing career at this point.  Preparing to go to Clarion West.  At the end of the month I’ll be taking one of the pieces that I have done and polishing it up to send in to Clarion West to see if they will accept me as one of the writers in their 2013 workshop.  

Read this book!
Clarion West is a science fiction and fantasy writers workshop that is focused on helping writers belonging to minorities (women and ethnic) learn better what it takes to be a writer.  I learned about them a few years ago in Orson Scott Card’s “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.”

I will graduate in a year, and at that point I'll need to be working full time and doing writing on the side until I publish.  If I wait longer to attempt to go to Clarion, I'll be professional and Clarion wants us as writers before they we are seasoned professionals.  So I am going to take the plunge and learn from the masters this summer.

Of course this is all based upon whether or not my stories are good enough.  This is where you the few who are still paying attention to this blog come in.  I need people to help me hone my work.  If you would be willing to help me with it I would appreciate it if you would leave me a comment below letting me know you would like to help me critic some of the stories I come up with.  Usually I wouldn’t ask for help, but there are eighteen slots for Clarion each year.  And I need all the help I can get to figure out what I can do to make my stories the best I can.

As always thanks for reading.  And I’ll be back on Monday to tell you how I’m doing for NaNoWriMo and fill you in on where I am with the goals I have established thus far.  This is the OG, Peace Peoples!
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