Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 5, 6, 7

NaNoWriMo, Day 5 - 10358

I'll make this real quick. I have to be up in like 6 hours, and therefore I am foregoing writing entirely tonight. I have the day after tomorrow off, so I will make up for it then.

I think the important thing about goals is to understand why you have them. I write a poem every day not to have more poems, but to ensure that I am consistently working on my writing skills. But I am doing NaNoWriMo not necessarily to improve my writing ability (which of course, I hope is happening), because I think spreading the novel out over a longer period of time will help with a lot of that. Instead, I am doing this to get a novel written. To have that under my belt. So that I know, in the future, when I want to write a novel, that it's possible because I've done it.

And so if I skip days, I am not upset with myself, like I would be if I skipped writing my poetry.

Anyway, the reason I have to be up so early is that I will be reading a poem on Accents, 88.1 FM, Lexington Kentucky (

I'm stoked! So 0 words written today. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo, Day 6 - 11403

I woke up after only 5 hours of sleep and drove to UK, braved the ridiculous parking and fought my own inability at finding my way around and miraculously found myself at the radio station just in time to read my poem. The recording is not up quite yet, but it may be up by the time you guys read this (

I drove immediately back home, tried to check mail and whatnot, and took a nap, then went to work. Let me tell you. Two days in a row of 10 hours of standing on my feet is killing my legs. I get home and I'm not tired in the way you need to be to sleep, just unable to walk around and get anything to eat, get dressed. Anything.

Anyway, I had what felt at the time like a burst of inspiration at work, and got home and it was mostly gone. I did write 1045 words, which I inserted into an old chapter to introduce a new character. But no new chapters, and I'm still well below where I need to be. But now I really am the kind of tired that you need to be to sleep, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. 11403 words is not so shabby.

NaNoWriMo, Day 6 - 13841

The thing about days off is that when that have been preceded by especially busy days, you want more than ever just to rest, and not to finish all the things you either chose to or had to put off. So I didn't do much of anything productive until very very late in the night.

But I wrote 2438 words when I finally got to it, one of the longest chapters I've yet written, and one of the more fun ones as well, I think.

Some things I've learned about my writing, as it pertains to novels:

I thrive on the unknown, on organic writing. I can't write with an outline, because nothing ever ends up happening that way when I sit down to write.

Conversely (and this is what I'm only just now learning) a part of me needs to create a few, or perhaps many, characters beforehand. They don't need, at first, to be fully fleshed out, but I need them to exist before I put them into situations. I love dialogue, and situations that arise from conflicting emotions and viewpoints, but those don't come about very easily when I haven't decided on any characters beforehand. It can happen, but what seems to happen instead is I try to think of ways to get what I think must happen to happen that way with the people I already have, and that just doesn't always work out.

See yesterday's entry, where I had to go back and insert a character in an already finished chapter. And that risks messing up much more than the chapter itself. I had to rewrite huge sections of that chapter, and parts of any chapter that followed it as well. That's a lot of wasted time.

Anyway, tomorrow I hope to write even more. On the 15th I need to be at 25000 or more, and I'm not nearly as close to that as I'd like to be.


  1. A Wolf in City's Clothing

    Lines that stood out

    "at night I curl up in myself
    howl to the moon"

    "I want so much of it
    that my words are seminal"

    What a strong ending!

    I admire your passion for continuing to expose your work.

    I heard your poem on the radio show. If I knew how to record internally from my computer, I would've made a sound file so you can load it on your website. I know how task-oriented those things are. Since you don't have a pr team, I might as well use my time to do it for ya.

  2. Well, holy crap, that's an excellent idea. Thanks so much. You're so... I can't think of the right word, but it's something like practical, in a sense. You're a poet who knows that art that isn't out there to be heard, isn't GETTING heard. I love that.

    And thanks for your comments. It may be surprising for anyone who knows how much I write to hear, but I get very little feedback, especially considering how much I write.

  3. To me, poets are the rockstars of literature. Unfortunately, the public and presses don't agree. Still, the more we present ourselves as polished artists, the more revenue streams we can tap into.

    You keep referencing Frank X Walker. I looked him up. It's amazing that his passion and dedication to the word and other poets created an entire community (not to mention self-employment).

    Each poet deserves an agent and a manager. A person who promote our written work (agent) and a person who will promote our readings/performances (manager).

    Most of us will never have either agent or manager, but it doesn't hurt to think like one every now and then.

    We wouldn't know of Walt Whitman save for his hustle mentality.