vampthenewblack: (Default)

I first did NaNoWriMo in 2009. My mother had just passed away (like, less than two months before), and it completely fucked me up. I'd never written a novel before and I hadn't finished anything longer than a thousand words in many many years... It was definitely a case of throw myself headlong into something that would consume me completely so I didn't have to deal with the fact that I'd lost the only person I'd ever been able to rely on completely.

I still can't believe I won that year, and went on to complete the novel through December (because fuck Christmas when I'd just lost my Mum), finally coming out with a tally of 110,000 words and a complete novel. I still maintain that it's my best NaNo ever, though it's a typical first novel, meandering and tangented, cheesy and cliché. It was a learning experience, and one of the things I'm most proud of (even though there's very few people in the world that I'd ever let read it).

It was also my first slash fic. It wasn't meant to be. I wasn't even a slash writer back then, and the story began with a het pairing, but by the first quarter it was plainly obvious that it wasn't going to end that way. It was an epiphany, you might say, and once it was done I found it very difficult to write het afterward.

So NaNo kind of means a lot to me, and after doing it (and winning) every year since, it's become a habit, an institution. I almost didn't do it in 2012 because I hadn't written anything in about six months, but an acquaintance pushed me to do it again and I said fuck it, and just did it, and it got me writing again.

Every year I'd come out with something plainly unpublishable. Some years were more shit than others, but every time it was kind of a reset button for my writing habit, and I'd come out the other end of November with an inability to not write.

So, this year, like every other year, I expected I would NaNo again. The fact that NaNo was designed to fall in the deep dark of winter but actually fell in the summer for me never really bothered me before. We'd just bought a house when Mum died, and before we bought it I had lots of ideas for the garden, and because Mum was a gardener and I had two black thumbs, she was supposed to help me with it. Well, that, of course, never happened. Summer was no different to winter, in fact, I was even more inclined to hide inside because everything about summer reminded me of her.

It took me 5 years and the death of my grandfather (the other gardener in the family) to even get to the point where I could bear to think about having a proper garden. Then instead of bringing up painful memories, growing stuff was suddenly a way of connecting to them both. So last year I both gardened and NaNo'd.

It wasn't hard or anything, it's not like either suffered greatly. But because my mind was consumed with tomatoes as well as words, I just didn't care as much about the words.

About a month ago, when I was thinking I should start planning for NaNo, while I was already planning the garden, the truth really kind of hit me. Another epiphany, perhaps. I realised that I'd rather put all my energy into growing shit than I would into a book that I know from experience I'll never publish.

And all the 'thou shalt write every day and not let real life intrude if you want to be a real writer' stuff that people spout can kiss my arse, frankly. I'll still write every day, there's nothing going to stop me from doing that, but I'll put my intense effort into it at a time of year when there's very little to be done in the garden. Thank god for Camp NaNo, July is a much better time of year to be doing that shit around here.

And next month, I'll grow some stuff :D I'm as proud of my erratic, overgrown garden as I am of my first laughable novel.

[crosspost]

NaNo '14 - Day 1

Saturday, November 1st, 2014 12:15 pm
vampthenewblack: (Default)

*cough*

I thought this was year 5, but it's actually my sixth NaNo. Not counting the one Camp NaNo I did. That seems like a lot. I did my first NaNo around the same time or a little before I really started writing fic and being involved in fandom, so it is a good way of keeping track of that.

But 5 years. Holy crap.

So it's day #1 of NaNo '14 and it's awesome! So far. Give me a week and I'll be tearing my hair out and crying. In terms of where I thought I'd be in my story by todays target I'm way ahead. So I'm slightly concerned that I might not have enough story to fill the 50k. Hopefully things flesh themselves out as I move along, if not I have some backup fic I can write to fill the gap.

Oh! And my story. I've tended to write OF for NaNo, but this year I'm writing a (perhaps) novel length SPN fic. Wincest is best, as is the celebration of unhealthy brotherly co-dependence *grin*

I've already killed Dean. Just this morning. Went well XD

Also, I'm doing this without knowing anything about Season 10, so, spoilerphobe warning. Yep.

I'm just going to chuck this here so I can look at it and freak out when I see red boxes.

vampthenewblack: (Default)

I'm supposed to be editing my Hols fic right now, in order to get it done and posted before NaNo, but I've actually been working on getting shit sorted for Remix. Signups won't open until December, but December is like, the day after NaNo, and I really don't want to be trying to do it while I'm trying to cram 1667 words into each day as well.

So, yeah. I'm doing that. Plan is to have everything ready to hit the 'open' button before the 1st November. I started months ago, to be honest, but decided we needed new graphics, so I was planning on making pretty banners and shit. Pity the promo pic for season 4 was so blah. I must have worked on making it pretty so many times, and then just didn't do anything because I ended up hating it all. At this point the new graphics I've made are perhaps too simple, and not a huge change from last years, but oh well. We can always change them next year ;)

Next on my list, rewrite all the rules and stuff, because we're making it so fanworks other than just art and fic are eligible to be remixed :D

vampthenewblack: (Default)

It's coming up the busiest time of year for me, for a lot of people, I guess. Christmas is on the horizon, but that's something I barely give a passing thought in October. November is the big month for me, it'll be my 5th NaNoWriMo this year, so it's definitely become something of a habit, and all non-essential things just go completely out the window until after it's over and I've taken a few days to recover.

And in time honoured vamp tradition, NaNo is approaching while I'm in the midst of one of my horrible extended not-writer's-block periods. Which is actually a good thing, because I generally come out of NaNo with a hiss and a roar, the not-block having been forced away by the necessity to consistently write a stupid amount of words each day.

So that's good. I'm looking forward to November, because NaNo for me is a kind of reset button for my writing habits.

Mating Games: Week 1

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 10:14 pm
vampthenewblack: (Default)

Glad I signed up for [livejournal.com profile] mating_games now that it's a couple days and a couple of challenges in. I'm having a ball to be honest, because the community aspect of it now that we're divided up into teams is fantastic.

I don't know, there's something about being herded into a private comm with a limited number of people that seems to work for me. And chat, OMG, I've been spending some time on IRC over the last couple days, more than I've spent on it since my early days on the net.

Total time suck, but sociability-wise, good for antisocial me, I think.

It's probably the most I've felt some kind of community in the Teen Wolf fandom since I entered it. It seemed so scattered before.

It feels like NaNoWriMo to me, actually, but for fandom. I do the social thing during NaNo because I'm in a very small region and there are other authors in my region that come back every year and the regional forum is nice and cosy and supportive.

Another part that feels very NaNo is participation in the challenges. They keep track, and the team leader reports it in the team comm, so you can see your progress. NaNo works for me for some reason because I can't bear to not reach my minimum word count when (for me at least) it's reasonably easy to achieve. I can see already that Mating Games will be the same.

I'm not so quietly nervous about the voting part, the challenge 'winners' part. I learnt in twi fandom, where for a long time the only fest type things were contests and awards, that voting and winners take a terrible toll on my self-esteem. Illogical, of course, because not everyone can win, and I definitely don't think I'm a better writer than anyone else, but it's a thing.

I know it's not always so, but I like to think of fandom as a non-competitive, sharing, caring, happy fluffy place. Competition inevitably makes me feel like a big fat loser, and I don't enjoy it.

Competing against myself to reach wordcounts and milestones suits me so much better. The satisfaction of reaching my own goals and helping my team or region to reach the collective ones are definitely what drives me best.

So I'm going to make sure I get every goddamn participation point available :D And do my best to ignore the voting (while still voting myself, because PARTICIPATION POINTS). It won't work, but I'll try. There'll still be that heart in the mouth hope before reveals, and the disappointment when I don't place. But that's a personal issue, and I signed up knowing it would happen, so I'll deal with it as best I can when it does.

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