~ CHRISTA DESIR ~
If I’m being perfectly honest, I would say that it has been a WHILE since I’ve written. A while for me, at least. Four months. Every day I would consider starting a new book, but then I would get distracted by my day job, life, my kids, the world. And I would go to sleep promising myself to try again tomorrow. Only for nothing to happen then either.
So two weeks ago, when writers started getting excited about NaNo, I thought “THIS is the thing that will get me motivated.” Which is sort of what NaNo is about. Because now there are other people who are in the boat with you too. The loneliness of writing the next great American novel seems far less daunting when a million of your best online friends are writing it at the same time.
The first six days were all about excitement. Like when you get a great new haircut and you love it and you love how different you look in the mirror. But then this morning, I woke up (day 7 of NaNo) and thought: I hate this book and I hate writing.
Um, is that supposed to happen this early in the game? Probably not, but that’s what did happen so I had to pull out my relevant-to-me surefire tips for pushing past the stumbling blocks of NaNo:
- The Freedom App. Oh Internet, I love you and all your shiny things. I love all the pictures of Lenny Kravitz I can find with a quick search on Pinterest. But damn, you sure make it hard to get real words down when I’m enjoying your shininess. The Freedom App is invaluable for blocking the shiny Internet. Turn it on until you’ve got some words down.
- Remember that it’s okay to suck. You’re going to go back and fix this novel. Now is not the time to be a perfectionist. Now is the time to write some words and move forward. Don’t edit, move forward. Think of it like a timed section on the SAT. If you have time at the end, you can go back and edit. If you haven’t hit your words for the day, onward, baby.
- Skip around in a book. If I’m writing the painful funeral scene and I realize that I’m avoiding my computer like the plague because I don’t want to end up a puddle in front of my computer, I put a note that says, “WRITE FUNERAL SCENE HERE” in the comments and move on. If that doesn’t work, I think about what part of the book I do want to write and go for that scene. (Don’t judge, I know most of you write the kissing scenes first.)
- Write first thing in the morning. To me, it’s like exercise. If the day gets too far along, I can guarantee that my ass is not going to make it on the treadmill. But if I wake up and drag myself to the gym, well then, it’s done and now I can go have my coffee and procrastinate on other things for the day.
- Go for power-chunk writing. If it’s not in me to write on one day, it’s not in me. My stubbornness about it won’t be deterred. So I make up for it by writing more when I’m in a groove. I don’t check word counts when I’m in a groove, and I don’t stop because I’ve hit my 2000 for the day. I just write and stop when I’m satisfied.
- Research all the great novels that were originally NaNo novels. It can happen. You’re crappy novel can become a living thing if you go back and revise and let it marinate and revise again. But none of that can happen if you don’t get your words in. So do that.
From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy–like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.
Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers—even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.
Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.
But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks—until he poses the ultimate test.
Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.
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