To be honest, I think it’s hilarious that I picked the most stressful November (for the Americans anyway) to give this challenge a go for the first time. My experience has been a juggle between caring for my mental health and simply enjoying the writing process. Distractions and interruptions have been abundant and when my mind gets too exhausted from pushing them away, all it wants to do is escape with a video game or book because my mind is too tired to plot a story. I’m having to be incredibly patient and constantly remind myself how important this is to me.
The progress I’ve made so far is significant. I won’t give up.
Comment below and tell me how your experience is going if you’re taking on the challenge and if you’re a fellow writer who isn’t writing a novel, do you have any tips to ward off stress during a writing session? I would love some pointers. (Yes, I’ve already tried take a break from or delete social media.)
My head has been stuck in the books lately and when that happens blog posts seem to gradually fade, haha. Between studying, blogging, and my other music projects, I’m missing my novel and the VPD entries again. So I thought maybe I should take NaNoWriMo seriously and see how far I get. Once Samhain passes, taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge will be intimidating for sure, but I just really miss my novel, or rather the world I’m building and my characters. It’s dark scifi-fantasy novel and the first draft was over 400 pages and over 136,000 words. Working on the second draft definitely came with some struggles (and a lot of panicking, to be honest), but that beautiful big-picture view of the entire project and the awesome information I’m retaining from my psychology classes keeps connecting the dots between my characters and all the ways I can torture-DEVELOP them. Hehehehe.
So basically, I’m really enthusiastic and can’t wait to take on this challenge along with report my daily progress. Also, my cover song and poetry reading will be finished within this week and posted in the first week of November. I hope you’ll like it and thank you for your patience. I’m getting much better at actually completing projects rather than jumping around from one to another aren’t I? Good for me. Are you a fellow writer thinking of trying out NaNoWriMo as well?
Do you ever catch yourself trying to gain the approval of others? I consider that to be a bad habit of mine. There’s nothing I need to prove and trying to make people understand where I’m coming from can be such a drag. I feel like I’m surrounded by people who don’t try to get […]
Prompt via The Life of Dee: Autumnal crafts for toddlers – give us ideas on what our little ones could make this season. I don’t have children. I’m not crafty. I wasn’t even allowed to do autumn crafts because when you’re raised by Christian parents, they think everything is a gateway to Satan. So I […]
It’s so important to have just one day completely stress free, but that’s not easy…like ever. Considering that many of us have been “grinding” so to speak either in the workforce or in school most of our lives, we can’t just say, “I’m relaxing now,” and boom! You’re chill AF. That’s not life. That’s not […]
So, I dedicated this week to working on updates with my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black”, which is why I haven’t uploaded a VPD or blogged much of anything else this week. I knew I had to give the horror short some time to make sure my marketing is successful and that my dream of my short stories becoming movies becomes possible.
However, I miss the crap out of my novel! I’m going to work on it today and write a VPD as well as share my other ones. I guess this is the risk of having more than one writing project. Have you ever had this feeling though? Where you miss the world and characters you created? It’s gotten to the point where I have designed playlists for my characters with Spotify when I want to think about them (it’s very fun!). I honestly love this feeling and can’t wait to get back on track.
Also, I started the audiobook called Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Have you read it? I absolutely love it so far. It’s definitely a must for artists of all types who need inspiration or encouragement, especially if you’re a poet.
Do You Read To Death or Read For Sex? On Narration Style
A friend told me that there are mainly two types of readers out there: the ones who read to death and the ones who read for sex. The ones who read to death surrenders to the author’s siren call to turn the next page. They’ll gobble up a book of over 200,000 words in a matter of days, certainly less than half a week. The one who reads for sex, like myself, makes the experience last. They aren’t necessarily slow readers, but gluttons for the suspenseful moments. They might read a few chapters, then set the book down to make their own predictions about the story or daydream of what the characters would do or say if they met in person. These people may also read like professors who are wondering more about what they can learn from the author, what each character’s archetype is, how and why the story structure was presented as is rather than in a more traditional or more contemporary way. I do read and write for sex. No it’s never been a procrastination technique, but a very pleasurable learning technique that keeps me enthusiastic about my career. I don’t want to bore the ones who read to death with extraneous details and I do hope as I grow as a writer, every sentence will have such an addictive quality that it will be hard to put the book down and even harder not to break it down critically.
Holding high standards for ourselves eventually lead to us saying somthing along the lines of, “I’m just not good enough.” I just wrote about that in my VPD. I’m so sick of those thoughts. They make me angry, not at myself, but I do go down memory lane and remember what led to me being this way towards myself and others sometimes.
Forgiveness is overrated and underrated. It’s the most bittersweet thing we can give ourselves and we can practice doing that more often by recognizing and accepting our flaws. Additionally, we can remember that accepting our flaws doesn’t mean our flaws define us entirely.
My VPD I’m posting on Vocal today is about transitioning from being a confident editor who’s really good at brainstorming to an anxious writer being too hard on themselves. I’m going to challenge myself today, and if you’d like to join me as a fellow perfectionist go ahead, to direct my inner critic solely on the story and not let it branch off into other territory such as my identity, intelligence, or anything else that’s personal. The goal with the second draft is to refine the story and just do my best as a hardworking and vulnerable writer. I treasure my vulnerability. I treasure my flaws. If I were talking to a friend, I wouldn’t want them to be down on themselves because of mistakes they made while working on their life’s passion. Recognizing areas that need improvement is better than being delusional. I’m going to trust myself to do better and be better without tearing myself down.
My first draft rendition of introducing this new group of characters reminded me how sinful it is to write cringy dialogue and that my characters should have purpose or just not exist at all. I don’t mean to be too hard on myself considering it’s the first draft, but I was disappointed to read this scene of diverse characters introducing themselves with a silly/comedic camaraderie and then turning out to be kind of overpowered later. I already know my anime-brain took the lead on this. Now current me has to deal with characters whose purpose is poorly translated. While keeping my focus on making sure the voices of these characters were definitive and believable with their personality, I thought more critically about the development of side characters.
Writing Without Historical and Cultural Inaccuracy or Offense
My first novel has the protagonist searching for the historical truth of the world’s magic system. One of the harsh realities they’ll face is that no matter how much truth you dig up and show to others, there is a comfort zone in the status quo that some find is hard to escape, especially if a group or race of people have worked hard to prove themselves to be capable of living a civilized way through the abandonment of their origins. My protagonist has to face their internalized shame and break away from it through the risk of being demonized by their society. I can easily write about how my character’s risky actions lead to harsh consequences, but for my audience to empathize with them, I need to explore the pain of disconnection, conversion, and misrepresentation. For that, I’ll need to start with historical inaccuracies in general fiction before I dive into horror.
As an African-American living in more contemporary times, I know my losses aren’t as extreme as the losses my ancestors suffered, but unfortunately, the loss continues. There’s a trauma from that past I may never understand, but their history still echoes through the Black Lives Matter movement and the African-American creators today wanting to be seen and heard. My heart is full of the genuine desire to understand many indigenous cultures and capture their views of what they considered divine or supernatural without judgment. As an animist and mystic, I’ve always been drawn by their stories in the stars, the lessons from nature-inspired parables and fables, and the development of shamanic power pre-dating organized religion and colonialism as it has inspired an entire universe inside me I only want to express with gratitude.
I was talking with a friend the other day about needing to watch more or read more crime and mystery pieces and study how the “clues” lead the audience and the characters from one thing to another. I know my novel has a lot of conspiracy innuendo, but conspiracy can be really obvious real quick. We’re used to seeing a government organization, a religious organization, a secret organization, or an academic organization have players scheming in the shadows or plotting in broad daylight. Though obvious, I think the intrigue maintains itself if the end goal of the conspiracy isn’t so obvious and who immediately comes to mind is Lovecraft.
Although I didn’t get the time to post a VPD on vocal today, I did a lot of writing and editing for my novel and it was really a blast. Tomorrow’s VPD will explain why.
I’m a little behind on promoting the VPDs on WordPress but you know you can always check in on what I’ve posted by going to my Vocal profile. I’ll have the other entries posted tomorrow. I hope they’re kind of interesting or helpful to read. The one I wrote today discussed cultural appropriation vs. respectfully researching another culture you’re not familiar with as an author and it was very enlightening.
As a writer, thinking about karma keeps me mindful of how audiences processes information. One thing leads to another. A ripple effect, right? But it’s not just about action and result or action and reaction, it’s the tension between those two things that makes karma such a universal concept because we’re all sentient enough to think about the “what if”, or the unknown/hypothetical situation caused by an action. For many of us, that’s our self-imposed prison taking form.