Wednesday, January 24, 2007

my own private NaNoWriMo

Great. Now I've got that B-52s song "Private Idaho" stuck in my head.

Anyway, the other day I got just the kick in the pants I needed when my agent asked about my next book (i.e. the one I'm currently working on, the one that's supposed to come AFTER the one for which she originally took me on as a client). To be fair to myself, I have been working on it for much of the past year (really, I have!), but I've been working on it the way a disorganized quilter works on a massive project; there are half-finished squares and half-threaded bobbins and mismatched fat quarters strewn about every room of the house. When I paw through what I have (which is a good chunk of the 100,000 words I'm shooting for), I'm generally pleased. I'm pretty sure it's going to make a kick-a** draft when it's done, and I'm looking forward to showing it to her.

But the key words here are "when it's done." It's a good thing that I work well under the threat of arbitrary deadlines, because I've set my early April birthday as the cutoff point for having a good draft in my agent's inbox. It's also a good thing that I'm gifted at inflating the importance of said deadlines until I'm convinced that they're roughly on par with national security, because otherwise I'd lose steam and never get much of anything written.

That said, I've put myself on a strict 1,000-words-per-day cleansing diet from now until the end of March. I even have a handy little chart taped to the wall right next to my desk, the sole purpose of which is to guilt me into filling my daily word quota even if it means typing "All work and no play makes Nicole a dull girl" (a la Jack Torrance) until the quota's met. I can't believe I blew off a friend's suggestion that I participate in last year's NaNoWriMo! (Yes I can, actually. I was teaching my butt off, gearing up for the big choir performance and getting ready for the big move. No way could I have been a NaNoWriMo winner. Still, the draft would be done now if I'd partaken in November's novel-writing blitzkrieg with the rest of 'em).

Needless to say, prayers are appreciated.


  1. I feel you. I have three chapters due to my publisher on March 8. Prayers needed here too. Add those chapters in with caring full-time for a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 2-year-old and my blog. You know what I'm saying. We writers have to motivate each other with writing blitzkriegs. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get writers to actually write. I'm filing a missing persons report for my muse right now.

  2. Gah! You have a publisher, though! How cool is that? And you have three kids. What letter is sewn onto your cape?

  3. I'm giggling because I did that too, after farting around on this thing for oh I dunno three years? I said, Dec31 2006 and got it done that day at about 2pm. Now i'm into the second edit and feel like I'm on fire!

    I probably have ADD (My daughter has it) so I have to set deadlines or I get terribly distracted. This, while sending out queries for the project before this one and getting rejections. And rewriting that one too.

    What the heck is wrong me???

  4. Heidi, I'm convinced that querying agents is the hardest part of this whole being-a-writer process. The best of luck to you in your agent search - let me know when you land the representation of your dreams. :-)