Curveballs

Sometimes I think I set myself up for failure. It’s embarrassing really, how long it has been since I have posted. I have had ideas of course, small snippets of thoughts I could turn into what I would hope might become a thought provoking post, but every time that I went to write them down or type them up I would come up with a blank. I have only one excuse with which to place the blame upon:

NaNoWriMo.

Yes, it has taken all my attention, and even completing my homework assignments have become more of a chore because I’m so immersed within my story that I don’t want to take the time to write down anything but. From that description you might think that I was on par for my word count, you’d be wrong. I’m dreadfully behind, but I do have plans to catch up within this last week of writing. After all, I’ve done it before, I can do it again. Hopefully.

Pushing all thoughts of NaNoWriMo aside I wanted to come on here and check in with everyone. It feels like I don’t even know what is happening in the blogosphere anymore, and that is not a feeling I like.

Over the last few weeks I have been writing, but more than that I have been working. My job affords me the ability to see all kinds of students in different settings. Some of these settings are stressful, and some of the students are aggravating, but it’s all manageable. I had one particular eighth grade boy who had quite the mouth on him, but that is a story for another time.

I also went to see Mockingjay, because I am quite obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy. I’m quite obsessed with a lot of things actually, so that’s not really news.

And I somehow lost the point of this post within the brief update of my life. What have you all been during the month of November? If there are any posts/events you want me to check out send me a link and I’ll be sure to comment and like them. It might be a while before I see them otherwise, because I tend to get a bit sidetracked. Obviously.

~Johana Spade

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Nostalgia Sunday – NaNoWriMo

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I am dedicating this post to just that. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo and would like to be writing buddies, you can find my page here.

Five years ago marks the awakening of my knowledge of the aforementioned monthly challenge. I took to it eagerly, filled with excitement and bright eyes as I went about getting my fifty thousand words done in just thirty days. Little did I know that during week two I would feel run down and drained of ideas, as do many of us participating in the famed event. That shouldn’t deter any new participants though, because it’s a well known phenomenon amongst us NaNoWriMo veterans.

The first year of my participation I started off loving my idea. The words were smooth flowing, and I felt that I really had something going for me. Around the time that week two started something shifted. I started having writer’s block, and began adding characters just for the sake of new concepts to happen. By the time the third week came, I was on track for my word count but the story I was weaving was so complex I was too embarrassed to share it with anyone. Then the fourth week rolled in, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to use this story for anything other than getting the amount of words I was going for. It was a learning experience, because it showed me that I could get the word count no problem. That was the goal for that year, and I knew what I needed to do to correct the next year.

And I did just that. When the next November sprang about I was ready, I succeeded in getting a story that actually had a plot, and it worked well; even though I didn’t want to share it with anyone still.

Enough of my writing history though, you can read about my experiences on my author page at the WriMo website if you so choose. I want to let everyone know that the feeling is worth it.

Even though I was frustrated in the midst of the challenge, the end result, the feeling of accomplishment began to overwhelm me towards the end. I had done it. Writing was always a hobby I indulged in, but until that first NaNoWriMo most of my stories sat somewhere in the ten to twenty thousand word level. NaNoWriMo showed me that I could stick with a story longer than that. It showed me that with a little perseverance I could push through writer’s block and continue on.

That feeling is still with me every time I think about the first time I competed. Whenever November comes around I have a new goal in mind. This year, I want to create a story that I am proud of. I want to make words happen that I want to share with others.

This will be the year that I do something with my writing. Who knows? Maybe I will even finally take the steps to get my work published.

So this is my encouragement to all of you NaNoWriMo participants; new and old. You can do it, and just know that even when it gets tough, you won’t regret it.

~J. Spade