Reflections on NaNoWriMo

I’ve been sitting on several chapters of my unpublished, unfinished novel for years now. It’s been so long that I’ve had to transfer the lengthy file to a new computer every couple of years to assure it’s safety.

I was envision this, from here

Two months ago, I moved to a larger apartment where I now have my very own study/boudoir, which serves as my library and dressing room. My boyfriend jokingly refers to it as my “Lady Room” the foil to his “Man Cave.”

Before I moved in, I had visions of hours-long writing stints surrounded my by art, books, and lovely things but in reality, I’ve had little time to spend in there at all. It came to me that perhaps the best bet to finish my book would be during a pregnancy – giving birth in more ways than one.

It’s gotten to the point where I now have THREE great ideas for a book: one fictional and two, nonfiction. The latter two are no more than aspirational concepts and sometimes I wonder if I should just go ahead and query an agent now and worry about completing all three later but then I reign myself in. I want or need the timing, no, everything to be right because I know each one will be a success.

This is an outline J.K Rowling used while writing.

Since it’s National Novel Writing Month, I’ve seen a lot recently on getting that book finished or published. Some of the articles like this one on how to use an Excel Spreadsheet to outline your novel  or Designing your story with the use of a snowflake fractal, I’ll be quite honest, simply turn my stomach.

Is that really the best way to write a book? Is there a recipe, blueprint, secret sauce to doing this and doing it repeatedly? I remember reading this article on James Patterson’s formula and thinking, well, that’s one way to do it.

I’ve gotten in the (very bad) habit of just being in the mercy of my muse. When she beckons I follow, for hours if need be and when she doesn’t, I let her be and I know that’s probably not the best way to get where I want to go.

On a walk home recently, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be grand if I could write and publish a book every year for the rest of my life. I think back to the all the teachers and supporters who thought I would be a published author before I hit twenty sometimes and I feel as if I have failed in some way. I know I haven’t but  we all deal with our little doubts and demons.

I know am not the only creative person out there with ideas and projects everywhere and no time to bring them into being. How do you deal with this sort of thing? Do you have any advice for me?

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