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Drawing Inspiration from #NaNoWriMo ~ #amwriting past #writersblock #NaNoWriMo2017

Last year, I wrote about how I'd used NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, to find the inspiration to get back into writing my fourth novel, Haunted Souls, which has since been contracted and released (and is going to be made into an audio book before the end of the year!).  I was again in a rut last November, in terms of finding the time and motivation to write, so I decided I'd try to use the momentum of NaNoWriMo again to at least get a good start on my fifth novel, tentatively titled Dangerous Currents.  This manuscript has been a real challenge for me, as it has no paranormal element, but I do like to grow as a writer in terms of doing different things, and of course, I have to write the story that comes into my head.  So I got busy on November 1st, and things were going well.

Then...I got derailed.  I got the news that my Dad had a tumor.  Meanwhile, we were finishing up my older son's college applications and awaiting news.  All the emotional upheaval took its toll, and my word count had to be put on the back burner.

I visited my Dad in Maryland when I could, we went on college visits, we celebrated the holidays and all our winter birthdays.  In April, my father lost his battle, and we planned his funeral.  In May, my son accepted his offer of admission to University of New Hampshire, and we began planning for his college career.  Summer came, with welcome visitors and sunny beach days.  It was cathartic and chaotic and wonderful, but it was also a countdown to my oldest son leaving home.  I tried to enjoy every minute, and along the way, I stopped writing completely.  A part of me felt empty without it, but I knew my family needed me more than my fictional characters, and I didn't have an ounce of emotion left over for them anyway.  I hoped they'd be waiting for me when I was ready again.

I did get A LOT of reading done during my "hiatus"...check
back for my fav books of 2017 this January!

Once we'd settled my older son in his new home away from home and my younger son had begun his sophomore year of high school, I decided it might be time.  But, I was scared...it had been months since I'd written anything, and I was fairly certain writer's block had made itself comfortable on my imagination's couch.  

I convinced myself to start slowly.  Reading back, revising, editing, getting acquainted with my characters again...each day it got easier.  October is always a busy month for me in terms of events, as a lot of my novels involve ghost mysteries or other supernatural elements, but by the end of the month, I realized I'd made significant progress since I started back in September.  In fact, I had 65,000 words...more than enough to qualify as a full-length novel, except for the fact that it wasn't done.  It was going to take about 4 more highly emotional chapters before I could allow my characters their Happily Ever After and type "The End".

So, that's my NaNoWriMo goal.  I know it's not the traditional definition of "winning", but if I actually finish this book, I will be overjoyed.  I'm going for 1,000 words a day, with breaks planned for my best friend's visit and my family's visit (and my older son being home!) over Thanksgiving.  I'd like to think that another 20,000 words will get me there, or at least, very close.

Will I be able to sell it?  I can't predict that for certain.  But just to finish Dean and Malorie's story will mean a lot to me, in terms of overcoming writer's block.  And that, to me, will be a victory!

Happy writing, NaNoWriMo-ers!  One word at a time :)


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