Day 4 of November, the Challenge Month

Posted On November 4, 2013

Hello Day 4 of my self-imposed month of challenges! In looking behind, I can see you grinning with pride that I’ve stepped up to my commitment to you and have refused to shy away from any of the tasks set before me. Peering ahead to the remaining 26 days, I don’t currently foresee bumps in the road, potholes, detour signs and the like, but the tricky thing about those is that one rarely sees them coming. That’s why they’re so effective in derailing one from their chosen path. The unsuspecting go-doer trucks along, checking off items on their to-do list when all of a sudden . . . blackness, chaos, a tornado of unexpected emotions, excuses, and a plethora of tennis balls (disguised as “worK”, “cleaning the house”, “sick pet”, “in-laws visit”, “holiday preparations”, etc.) are hurled at the go-doer to distract and hinder progress.

Though I may not see them, I know they are there. They are always there. And their purpose is to test my resolve. Well, my resolve is firmly anchored in my mind, heart, and soul. These challenges might be rattled, they may be stalled, perhaps even juggled as one is traded for another on a particular day, but my passion and commitment will persevere. I also have a few hidden tricks to use when these delays do occur. I’ll “win” my challenges, take a victory lap on December 1, and then instead of collapsing in an exhausted heap, I’ll rally my possibly flagging strength to continue until the manuscript is complete, the rewrites for #2 are finished, and promotion on social media becomes second nature. They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Daily mediation and walking/hiking and an asana practice will be firmly entrenched by November 30. Whether or not my poems are picked to be published in a chapbook, I’ve decided to enter them in my own art journal and perhaps publish my own chapbook. I’m enjoying writing poetry on a regular basis, so this could also become part of my daily routine.

In case you didn’t know, I hand write all of my work, except my blog posts. My manuscript is being recorded in a plain spiral notebook. I rip out several pages at a time and drop them off to the person who types for me. The poems are written in a neat little hardbound journal I picked up several months ago from a clearance shelf at a bookstore. Never before have I paid attention to how many pages I’ve written or even if I’ve written each day, though I know when I haven’t or when too much time has passed before I return to this particular art form. Now I find myself counting how many I’ve written, since I know I need to do at least ten to meet my 1,667 words a day. This is a distraction I had not planned on and I have a couple of ways in which to combat this soon-to-be irritating habit.

A couple of other issues have come up with writing this manuscript, but I’m thinking it’s more because it’s the third book in a trilogy than because of NaNoWriMo. I’m wondering if it’s as “exciting”, has enough of the thriller elements that I usually include page after page. I wonder if my readers will be bored with the bits of back story filling in connections for those who haven’t read book one or two. I’m concerned that, although I write about social ills, that because this particular one is very dark, if I’ll turn readers away. And then I realize that none of this is what I need to be concerned about and that yes, it does sometimes pull me out of that stream of consciousness that occurs when I write. I’m a pantser, so I have no outline. There are vague scenes, but I’m not sure when they will happen. Perhaps I need to remind myself of my storytelling abilities and that regardless of how many threads will need to be gathered and tied off by the end of the last page, that I’ve done this before (once with a sequel), and that this month, and until the manuscript is done, is all about getting it down.

Have any suggestions for bypassing or overcoming obstacles during NaNoWriMo? Share them below! If you want to see what poems I’ve come up with before this challenge and look at the first novel in this trilogy, visit my website:

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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  1. C.B. Wentworth

    I’m still in awe that you handwrite your manuscripts. I rely on a pen for my notes and poetry, but never when writing my novels – my brain moves faster than I can write! I can, however, type incredibly fast. 🙂

    Great job on sticking with your November Challenge! Keep it up!

    • michelevenne

      Funny how we’re all different, isn’t it? I just think with a pen and paper. Occasionally my brain works too fast for me to write, then my typist has to do some extra cyphering to figure out what I meant to write! I think the easy part is starting. The longer it goes on, I think the more difficult it might get.


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