NaNoWriMo Week Two: Underdogs, Distractions and Writing a Sequel

My NaNoWriMo progress has been less than stellar this week. For one reason or another, I am finding it difficult to focus the way I need to on writing my novel. My writing buddy, Oakland, has been with me for the duration, sticking by me despite my lack of success.

This year I’m writing book two of a planned series of five, and I can’t help but wonder if this is part of what is making NaNo difficult for me. There’s a reason, after all, the powers that be at NaNoWriMo HQ recommend writing a brand new novel. It’s hard to have the same level of creative abandonment for a project you’re already invested in.

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I’m fortunate to be part of a vibrant community full of creative people. We have an active group of NaNoWriMo participants and a pair of dedicated MLs (Municipal Liaisons) who make November more fun. This week we had our local NaNoWriMo Kick-Off party where close to fifty people came together to write. If you participate in NaNoWriMo, but have never sought out a local write-in, I would encourage you to do so. The energy of a room full of other writers pursuing the same crazy goal is amazing. At our local write-ins there is also always goodies like coffee, tea and leftover Halloween candy!

If you follow football at all, you’re probably aware of the Raiders’ record so far this season. Ever the optimist, Oakland doesn’t seem to be bothered by this. He’s also not bothered by my dismal word count. And, as our fortune cookie from lunch one day this week reminds us, we should root for the underdog. (That would be me.)

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Our busy week included a trip to the elementary school for Literacy Night where the Kinder, 1st and 2nd grade teachers shared information about reading and writing goals for their students. They also offered up tools and tips for helping these young students at home as well. Literacy is important to me, and as two of my boys fall within this age group, I was there to learn more about what they’re doing in school. Plus, we got to bring home a new book to read!

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And speaking of reading, One of the biggest reasons I’ve struggled to stay motivated to write is because of the book(s) I’ve been reading. I’m working my way through the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge, and I started Gone With the Wind just before November. I had hoped to finish before NaNo started, but it’s a very large book. But a very enjoyable one, as you can see Oakland enjoying it now. Also, if you follow the Popsugar reading challenge, you’re aware the new 2019 challenge list went live this week, providing yet one more distraction I don’t need right now!

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Our week ended with a writing session with my local writers’ group. Three of us showed up, plugged in our laptops, put on our headsets and got to work. Very little talking other than to greet one another, and we just wrote and wrote and wrote. I needed this badly, as I’m suffering from a Reading Challenge induced word-count deficit. We’ll finish the week at around 7,500 words, a far cry from the nearly 17,000 we should have by now. But I won’t think of that now, tomorrow is another day!

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