• Shelly Powell

So it's NaNoWriMo

Updated: Nov 18, 2018


...and I'm not doing it this month. Nope. I know all about it. I've read the story behind how it got started. I've seen writing sprints announced at my local library. I've gotten emails about it, and I even have an idea that I want to use for it. But the truth is, I've decided not to do it this month. I don't want to say I'm too busy because I know we're all busy, and it will just sound like a bunch of excuses (even though I am really, really busy). So I will just say I made the conscious decision to focus on other things...


...like revising and editing my current book. It is so so soooo close to being done, and yet I'm starting to wonder how I will know when it's done. Will the stars align? Will it be like that moment when Harry Potter, shopping for his first wand, picks up the right one and there's that windy glow thing happening? Probably not, I know. That would be way too easy. I could probably rewrite my book over and over again, changing a word here or a word there, but that would take forever. I'm putting my heart into each revision, and I'm not worrying about what will sell or what others are doing. In fact, I think my Regency romance is different in a lot of ways from those I've read. Personally, I think that's a good thing. I've had family and friends read my book. I've had friends of friends who don't know me read my book. The responses have all been positive, and I've taken all of their feedback into account in some way or another. The thing is, even with my heart in this, there is something new I learn with each new edit.


I learn things about my characters, about my husbands reading preferences, about my writing style, and so on. It's fun. If I've learned anything this past year and a half, it's that I really love to write. So I'm not complaining about being busy or about editing my book like crazy. I mostly just wanted to share these thoughts because it's an interesting process.


One thing I've learned while editing is that I need to be patient. I need to calm down to see the problems in my drafts. I've been too hasty before, and I'm trying to learn from my mistakes. Having patience means that I need to write, let it simmer for a while, and then revisit it when my mind has had a break. It doesn't even have to be a long break, but I'm learning that I need to make time for it. Have you ever written something really awesome at 1 in the morning, and then discovered the next day that it wasn't as awesome as you thought? The kind of experience where your typos and bad grammar reveal how sleep deprived you were? ... Ya, that's why I need to be patient when I revise my work. I need to carve out times when I am more alert.


But with all this considered, I want to move on to other projects. I have some that I'm really excited about. I have a fairy-tale retelling that I'm 40,000+ words into as well as another Regency romance that I can't wait to get started on. So I'm getting a goal for myself. The end of November. I really am so close! So wish me luck. Then maybe I can move on and try for another novel writing month.



 

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