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I surrender!!

So, I pretty much bit off more than I could chew this month. In other words, due the surplus of other commitments I made, I didn't 'win' NaNoWriMo 2011.

I know it's not technically a contest, but that's what they say if you hit your 50K word mark because you won in the promise you made to yourself. I won't lie; I'm bummed. I really wanted to do this. Mostly because it was the one thing this month I was doing that was solely for me. But also because I wanted to take that leap into getting my story on paper (virtually). I have thoughts about that under the cut.

However, two good friends did win: novembersguest and my dear friend Linda. Either by sticking to an allotted word goal each day, or by pure dedication and determination, both hit 50K words of their novels within the month of November.

Congrats, ladies! You certainly deserve a round of applause. That is hard, hard work. And now not only do you have a draft of a story you can do whatever you want to with, you have the confidence of knowing that you did this! *BRAVO!* If anyone else out there (whom I either didn't know were competing or won and I wasn't aware) also hit their 50K mark, my congratulations to you as well. You have my admiration.

I definitely learned a lot with this experience. For one, just because I have an idea and an outline doesn't mean I know how to execute effectively on either one. And two, I need more time. Looking back, I should have tried for the "x" amount of words per day approach. As it was, I had a total of 4 days this month in which to write. I'm not exaggerating. Friday the 11th, Friday the 25th, Saturday the 26th, and Sunday the 27th. I managed to get 28K words in that time (5K of which I hated and wanted to scrap, but kept only for word count...they won't be in the draft I let anyone else read), but realized something important.

This is so much harder (for me) than writing fanfic.

Mainly because there are limitless parameters. I can write a 10-20K chapter in two days when it comes to fanfic.I know the people, places, things involved in telling that story. And I know whoever is reading knows all of that, too. I don't have to sell you on it, explain it to you, describe it to you. I just write 'Impala' and you have a picture in your mind.

I mean, I usually spend a few hours researching and writing up an outline in order to accomplish that amount of words in that amount of time, but I went into this month with that understanding...and it just didn't work the same. Once I wrote those 5K words that first day, I suddenly knew what I didn't want and the rest just flowed out of me. Just not in enough time to hit 50K by the 30th.

But that's okay. Because I have a really good start on this story now. And after I get through the scene I stopped in the middle of, I'm going to ask a couple people to give it a read and let me know if they'd still read it, even though there's no Dean. *wink* And, I know that I need to give myself more time and not try to cram 50K words, plus training for a marathon, into a month where there are insane work deadlines, sick husbands, hospital visits, and a holiday. I know others worked around huge obstacles to make the mark, I just couldn't this time around.

I felt a little like a loser yesterday, to be honest, but then I read over what I'd written and I really liked it and I thought about what is coming up this weekend with the marathon and realized that what I've done is okay. Not what I set out to do, but better than where I was one month ago.

So next up, post-marathon, is a return to fanfic for a bit because omgimissedit. I'm not kidding. This was a really stressful month work-wise and fanfic is magic when it comes to dealing with stress. And as I'd train, my mind would automatically go to one of the story plots I put in this post. So, I'm excited to return to writing my hero. I actually banged out a quick one-shot for a different fandom as a gift for a friend who was in need of a pick-me-up. Still working out if I'll post it or not -- it's for Hawaii Five-O and I don't really watch that show. I've seen like 4 episodes total in two years, but...she's a good friend and I wanted to cheer her up.

Plus, selfishly, it was like sneaking a piece of candy while on a diet.

I won't be abandoning my story, though. Because I finally have it cruising at a speed I can maintain with characters I like and events to come that I am really looking forward to writing. Just have to see if they are people other people want to read about. *laugh*

Thanks, all,  for the luck you sent my way and the faith you showed in me. I hope to see many of you when I pick the fanfic (virtual) pen up once more next month.


( 41 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
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Nov. 29th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
You are so NOT a loser! You are a winner just for giving the full NaNoWriMo a go! And 28k that ain't nothing to sneeze at for original fiction. There is a very good reason original writing is much harder than recreative writing. As you pointed out you have to completely build the world and characters for your audience which as HUGE difference to recreative where the audience steps in already well verse in both.

Not only that, you have an ENORMOUS amount on your RL plate. The fact that you managed to get 28k of original fic written in 4 days in between extremely stressful moments is freaking AMAZING!

I'm very glad to hear you will be continuing with it and I would love to read it at some point. Your writing is beautiful and draws me completely into the world you are creating without any effort on my part. That piece you wrote of the returning solider a while back was gorgeous and you instantly created a world around a fully developed character with such a short number of words. That is true story telling. Never doubt that are a truly talented story teller.

Good luck with the Marathon, I will be think of you guys and cheering you on in spirit!

*squishes you tight*
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, my friend. I appreciate the encouragement. :) It's funny how writing this original fic wasn't the stress reliever that fanfic is. I think maybe it was because I was focused so much on word count and not on just telling the story. I've never done well under those kinds of parameters, y'know?

Thank you for the compliment to my writing. I hope that one day you will read it. Right now, at the stage it's in, I'm keeping the reading list small, but after I get a good-sized draft done, I'd like to broaden the scope and see if there are more who are interested. I appreciate you saying you'd be among those. :)

Marathon is getting close! I'll be posting updates to our blog during the weekend, then back here next Tuesday with the Ramble. Hope to see you again soon. :)

*hugs back*
Nov. 30th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
The simple fact that you went out and tried to do NaNoWriMo should be applauded; and considering how busy you were . . . . I've thought about it for a couple of years now and have shied away. So kudos for you. :)

The fanfic for a stress relief is something I can relate to; I wrote an inordinate number of words this summer and early fall when my jobs were getting the best of me. I'm excited for when you bring back the fanfiction.

Best of luck with the marathon. :)
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
I would encourage anyone to try it. They have a good community for encouragement if that helps you, and they also offer suggestions for how many words/day to write if you want a measured pace. I ignored all of that this time around, and learned my lesson. LOL!

I was just saying above that it's funny how writing this original fic wasn't the stress reliever that fanfic is. I think maybe it was because I was focused so much on word count and not on just telling the story.

But, now that I am back to no rules, I can get back to writing fanfic and work in time for this original fic as life allows. :) I'm good with that.

Don't let your jobs get you down. As I have to constantly remind myself: you work to live...not the other way around. ;)

Thanks for the luck on the marathon! We're gonna need it.
Nov. 30th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
I feel terrible that you felt like a loser yesterday...I wish I had had some better words of comfort to offer when you needed, but I was serious when I told you that the marathon is an even bigger, amazing accomplishment. I don't think I have it in me to do something like that, so I admire you for it. I already have confidence in your writing, so I guess, for me, it's a given that you can accomplish that when the time is right.

It was a very, very busy month for you--and yet you still got a solid start on your story and you are happy with it. That's a very awesome accomplishment whether you hit the 50,000 or not. We already know you can write that many words anyway--now that you've found your stride, you just need the time. It is in no way your fault or anything to feel bad about that you had a really packed month.

In the best way, you still won! I may have reached the 50K, but my story has no guarantee of being successful in the ways that really count--it's pretty cheesy and drama ridden--and I have no idea how I'm gonna feel when I read it over as a whole (I may hate it). You have something you feel good about and that you can build on for a real story...so hold your chin up high. You are NOT a loser. NOT. It makes me so sad that you felt that way because its so far from the truth. You are amazing is what you are.

*hugs you so hard*
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
Oh, sweetie, don't feel terrible. My feeling like a loser had NOTHING to do with you or your awesome achievement and everything to do with me being disappointed in not meeting a goal I set out for myself. I felt like a loser because I said I wanted this, thought I could do it, and didn't.

But you're totally right -- I started the story and I'm happy with it.

Don't put yours down; you did an amazing thing and I want you to celebrate that! If I lived close, I'd take you out to dinner. People love to read drama and 'cheese' is in the eye of the beholder so don't take yourself out because of that. Sure, you may hate it when it's done. But! You could also LOVE it and how awesome would THAT be!

So, embrace this. You did well, kid. ;)

And thank you for the hugs. It makes me feel better that you think I'm amazing, 'cause I certainly don't always feel it. But I thank you for that.
Nov. 30th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Don't be bummed of feel like a loser! This may seem trite but you are a winner just by writing _anything_. And you really did have WAY too much on your plate this month - I'm really impressed with how much you were able to do. _Just_ the marathon would have been an accomplishment this month - so know feeling bad about this!!!
(and... omgcan'twaitforfanfic!!!!!)
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
Okay, first? LOVE your avi. That is perfect for you. :) LOL!

The hubs kept telling me over Thanksgiving weekend not to kill myself for this, that I already knew I could do this and this was just one little contest. He's going to be one of the ones I have read this first bit (which is proooobably the first 1/4 of the whole story, rough estimate).

I feel better about it now, after accepting the fact that I surrender. I had fleeting thoughts of staying up all night and writing into the morning for the last 20K and change, but...nah. It is what it is. And if I did that? I doubt I'd like what I came up with.

So, it's just a good beginning and I'll take it from there.

Also? YAYFANFIC! I can't wait to start writing that again! *does dance*
Nov. 30th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Oh dear. You didn't meet your goal but that does not mean you are a loser! Just the fact that you cranked out that much is amazing! You write beautifully, it's not just about volume, it's about content. And if you are able to continue with your story, even if not on your time schedule, be happy.

Enjoy your writing...when it becomes too much of a chore, then you need to back off a bit.

Plus, MARATHON! DUDE! *hugs and kisses*
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for saying that about content, not volume. I want to believe it. So I am going to.

And! I started on your story this morning. I'm going to try to finish it before we leave for Vegas and the marathon (Friday afternoon). I'm excited to keep going!

I'm happy to be able to be free and just...write. No contest, no rules. Just go.

*hugs you back*
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
You are! :) Maybe not with this first 1/4 of the story -- I think I might keep that group really small, like the hubs and one or two others -- but definitely when I get a larger draft done. I would love your feedback.

And I'll definitely hold off editing until I get the whole thing on paper. :)

Thanks for the luck! I'm bringing the Serenity shirt with me. ;)
Nov. 30th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
Oh.my.gosh. 28K? That's amazing. GOOD for you. I'm sorry but that right there is cause for celebration. You did 28K in addition to working full time AND knocking out another fanfic? You're amazing and you need to pop open the champagne!

Besides you've now done the hardest part: starting. From here, it should be easy. Right? RIGHT?!?!


Love you and am so very proud of you!
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
You. I adore you. I love that you celebrate these things with me. We are so going for Vietnamese coffee when I get back from the marathon. Watch out, Zen Zero!

And YES. The hardest part was starting. Especially because the first start SUUUUUUCKED. But the second part? LOVED it. I would read it. LOL!

*hugs you*

Nov. 30th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
Have you posted your Hawaii Five 0 fic? Would love to read it! Thinking about writing one myself. Good luck on the marathon! You'll do awesome! Can't wait to read your next spn fic :)

Nov. 30th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
I haven't yet posted it. I wrote it in like an hour on Sunday and it's short. Just a tag to episode 2x10. I'm hesitant to post because, like I said, I've only seen 4 episodes across 2 seasons and I worry that people will feel things are OOC. But, my friend, who needed the pick-me-up, liked it, so I'm encouraged.

I might do it this week. We'll see. ;)

And I'm excited to start writing SPN fic again! The biggest struggle at the moment is figuring out which one I want to do first. :)
(no subject) - gaelicspirit - Dec. 1st, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
You wrote 23k words you thought were good? That sounds like a success to me! The question is, while it's harder than fanfic, do you still love doing it? If so, then take the win and keep writing!

I'm glad that fanfic is still going to be part of the schedule, though!

Good luck this weekend!

Nov. 30th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
I did. :) Hee. And thanks.

It was harder, yes, but I still loved it. In fact, once I got into the groove, I realized I loved what I was doing -- I'd read this story, y'know? I liked one of the characters so much I was sad about what I was planning to do to them later. That's going to suck. *laughs*

And yes -- fanfic ahoy! Just have to figure out which one I want to write first.... ;)

Thanks for the luck! Talk soon!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Nov. 30th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gaelicspirit - Nov. 30th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 30th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
Considering how much else it sounds like you were doing while doing NaNo, it's remarkable you made it to the halfway point! And it also sounds as though you got the point - to get to flow without worrying about whether it's good or not. And - did you have some fun while doing it?

It's only for you, anyway, right?

Enjoy the Marathon! :)
Dec. 1st, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) I am pleased I made it half-way, now that you point that out. And I DID have fun while doing it. I liked what I wrote and I liked the characters and I want to do more stuff with them.

You're right -- it's only for me and for what I can do with it. And I can do something with what I got done. :)

Thanks! I hope we will! Enjoy it, I mean. LOL!
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
I know you don't know me from Eve, but I have been following your writing since you started writing Supernatural fanfic and I can say one thing with the utmost certainty - one day soon I will be buying a novel written by you. You are amazingly talented. The OCs in your fanfic are so very believable and one either cheers for them (ally) or hates them (adversary) as much as we cheer or cry for the boys. Your descriptions flow so beautifully that I can see and/or hear what you are describing. I know you already know this, but I am going to say it one more time, it's all about quality, not quantity, and your quality is what brings me back to your site to get lost in your wonderful stories. So no, you didn't hit your word count goal but if what you did write compares in quality to your other writings, then you have already far surpassed your goal, and it is the literary world who will soon be surrendering to you.

Dec. 1st, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
Well, I might not be able to pick you out from an Eve line-up, but I do know your name and I appreciate any time you take to talk with me, be it about writing or about the show. :)

Thank you so much for what you said about my writing -- especially the OC's. I am glad you can get lost. I can't wait to write another one to offer that option to you. :)

Thanks again, Dee. :)
Nov. 30th, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
Okay - firstus: You and Failure should never be allowed in the same sentence. It is not fathomable (number one) and it can blow a hole in the universe if left together too long (polar opposites of meaning - BOOM! - see?). You made that effort, you gave it what you could and DAMN you still kicked its ass! Did you make it to the 'finish line' proposed? No - but you have a start, some momentum and the go-get-'em to keep trying. That makes you a Winner in my book, so *sniffs* that settles that.

As for reading anything you write? Well...I know I'm game as is fifty million other people, but I'll fight 'em if I have to! so you just bring it sweetness and I'll be on standby with my cup of cocoa and some hoarded free time. *Nods*

Miss you sweetie - hope the Crazy comes to a middle soon and you get some breathing room (we all need that, yeah?) Know there are people here pulling for you on the other side of the screen - and we have kisses, hugs, chocolate and a willing ear!

Dec. 1st, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
You are so sweet. Thank you for that. And I'm pleased you're game to read it! :) I hope to have it a bit more finished before I send it out there to you guys, though.

I miss you, too! Crazy is just camping in our back yards, isn't it? I keep saying, maybe after the marathon I'll have more time. But then there's Christmas and...well, yeah. We'll just have to make our time, right?

Take good care of you and that beautiful family of yours. *hugs*
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon - Dec. 1st, 2011 08:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 30th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
You're a winner my friend, never a loser. A loser is someone who's too afraid to take the chance so he doesn't try at all. You grabbed the opportunity & did your best with it, & out came 28k of quality fiction. I'd say that's some achievement. I'm glad you see it made you a better writer, & please - when you do open that small group of readers to more people, I would love to be among them (even where's no Dean :)

BUT I'm also happy you're going back to fanfic, obviously! :) Your stories will always be no. 1 in my book.

Kick the marathon in the ass (guess who I'm quoting?) - I'll make sure to follow your blog as you update. My best to your hubs too - here's to you guys having fun - & winning some cash - in Vegas!

;) *hugs*

Dec. 1st, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank you -- I'm pleased you see it as an achievement. And I'm glad you're willing to give a Dean-free story a go! LOL!

You and Kim *wink* are good encouragement to get us through this weekend. Can't wait to talk to you on the other side.

*hugs back*
Nov. 30th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Okay, first...no one lost, least of all YOU! You were right in that you're further ahead than you were. :D

And it will be awesome to have you back on the fanfic train! YAY!

Hope it's a little warmer than this morning's 35 degrees in Vegas this weekend! Best wishes!
Dec. 1st, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
Yay for fanfic! I can't wait to get going -- just trying to figure out which one I'll start with. I'm thinking Night of the Hunter or From Yesterday (guess I was on a bit of a 30 STM kick when I named them).

It's supposed to be a high of 50 on race day, but it's a night race, so...I think it'll be brisk. ;)

Thank you for your support and always being there. You're such a treasure. I'm lucky to know you.
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Sounds to me like you achieved a great deal in a month (or rather 4 days!!!!) - I bet many people who "won" the challenge to write the 50k did not worry about the quality of the writing the way you do.
If you are still looking for readers, you know I'd be happy to (though I expect when I read through the comments you will have loads of volunteers!).
In case I don't tweet you or message you in some other way - all the best for the weekend and the half marathon!
Dec. 1st, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
Looking back, I keep thinking I was so stupid to sign up because I knew I'd only have 4 or 5 days I could devote to the story. I just thought that might be enough, y'know? Now I know. So, lesson learned, and therefore, good experience. :)

I would love for you to read it when it's further along. Like maybe 1/2 to 3/4 done rather than only 1/4 done.

Thank you for the luck for the marathon! I look forward to seeing you on the other side.
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