Took my revised chapter 1 from last week to writer's group and had my three sympathetic writing addicts read it outloud. There is something about having someone else read your work outloud that really shouts at you, "this is good!" or "this is crap!" Unfortuately, I'm afraid it came out sounding somewhere in between - sophomoric, perhaps. Fluffy, almost. I really need to start out with something with more bite. Yeah, it's a story with talking animals, so that means no matter what it'll be marketed for kids, but I'm NOT writing for 6 year olds here. I am writing for kids who will most likely have read Harry Potter and want something a little edgy, with touches both of light and dark.
Read this in one of my writing newsletters and was intrigued enough to waste a couple hours on the website, culminating in signing myself up:
Yes we're drawing nearer and nearer that wonderful, creative, neurotic month where we celebrate, we laugh, we cry, and wemanically write until our brains melt out of our heads. We spend all night at the computer screen, and the next daytrying to shut off an overactive imagination long enough to accomplish our responsibilities. We struggle with time and energy constraints, over caffeination, sleep deprivation, and sometimes the frustration of a blank space where our thoughts should be. For the writers in the audience they know what I'm referring to. It's the month of frenzied writing. It's the month where we type until our fingers are numb. It's the month we ignore the garish marks of the spell checker telling our inner critic to shout at us, so that we will stop and edit. It's the month we push forward with one goal in mind: 50,000 words in 30 days. Which breaks down to roughly 1,667 words a day give or take a few. Yes, you guessed it. I'm referring to NaNoWriMo - http://nanowrimo.org (National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 as a way to encourage everyone who wants to write a book, to do that very thing. Why? Becuase it's tons of fun!
Tons of fun? Well, in theory, I can agree. In practice... well, just to see how much I really *COULD* write in one day, I stared writing Friday night at 10:00pm when every one was in bed, and 2 1/2 hours later when I could push myself no further, I had just barely squeaked out 1,011 words. That's still 600 some words short -- and I have to acknowledge there's no way I can stay up past midnight every day of the month of November and still treat my family with any degree civility. But -- hey, even if I only manage to write 500 words a day, or even 200, that's still more than I'm accomplishing now. I did finish section 43 this week (my goal), largely thanks to that intense writing session Friday night.
I know should have prayed about this endeavor before signing myself up. Story of my life: leap first, check in with God later. Fortunately God's still in control, no matter which direction I go galloping off in. But He did make it very clear to me: if you're going to make a commitment to write every day for the month of November, you're also going to make a committment to Me: you're going to pray and read the Word every day, too - BEFORE you start writing. After all, I'm much more likely to succeed (and succeed in not having the rest of my life fall apart during this time, as well) if I'm in direct communication with the Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16).