Wanna Nano Buddy?

Yeah, I did it. I went and signed up all fresh and new this morning. Here’s my profile, if you think you might like to buddy me. It’s a little slap-dash. I have no idea what years I’ve tried to do Nano before, but I can tell you that I’ve never finished. I think I’ve had two accounts, the second one because I couldn’t get back into the first one for my second year because of all the website problems. This year, though, I’ve put all the past behind me, all the hiding behind a handle, afraid to tell anyone that I write, and I’m there with my real name. So there. [self-directed “so there”]

I’m working on Heroes ‘Til Curfew. I know that, technically, it’s supposed to be something fresh and new. I had hoped to have HTC out in beta and be able to possibly start the rough of the third book for Nano. Well, there’s a dream that’s long behind me as I fall further and further behind. I really feel like I need something to get me going right now. And trust me, I’ve got at least 50, 000 new words left to write in this draft.

I’m not sure how I’ll do with the goal. I’ve never finished. Nano is a difficult concept for me. The idea of waiting to start something until a set date, setting that date around one of the busiest and most stressful parts of the year, and then all that just writing whatever to get words out, the frantic output to be fixed later–that’s not really how I work at all. So I may end up plodding along at my own pace and being behind, but I think it will be nice just to be part of Nano fever, because just the energy that surrounds it is sometimes helpful–if you don’t let it stress you out and drive you mad.

Anyway, if you’re doing Nano this year, feel free to add me.

I’m feeling really reflective today, and I was just thinking about what I said above, about how I had been hiding behind internet handles and how I avoided telling any one in real life that I was a writer. It’s been really interesting, and very nice, to be able to do this with a shiny book in my hands and my name on the cover. People in my life have been very kind, supportive, and downright enthusiastic. But I’m not sure what it would have been like without that shiny book, and I wonder if I ever would have done it.

A lot of Hush Money is about fear. I know I said this in an interview somewhere, that one of the movie lines that repeated in my head while I was writing, and continues to live there when I think about the story, is from Pump Up The Volume. It’s the part at the parent meeting when Paige Woodward, the girl who blew up her kitchen, takes the stage and passionately tells the crowd how she’s just been going through the motions of being perfect. “We are all really scared to be who we really are.”

And didn’t think too much, until I started to out myself as a writer, how much of Joss’s secrecy was actually mine.

I got another bit of fan mail this morning, from someone who hasn’t quite reached the end of the story, but wanted to tell me how much I made her feel like she was there, in school, living this life. (As a writer, I should have better words for what those messages mean to me.) Looking forward to her finishing the book, wondering how she would feel at the end of it, I started thinking about the ending of the book myself, and how I lived it.

Writing that ending was very exciting. There was a sense of Oh my God, this is finally over. That feeling of exhilaration was both Joss’s, having just come through the other side of this battle and solved this big problem that had been hanging over her, as well as mine, having come through it with her, and also having come to the end of a struggle of my own. I felt like I had conquered something too. As I was typing her thoughts, I was thinking, this is starting to sound like the end of an after school special.

And then I decided that was just fine.


Filed under books, characters, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Hush Money, ideas, insecurities, Laws of the Universe, nano, NaNoWriMo, Signs, Talent Chronicles, writing

13 responses to “Wanna Nano Buddy?

  1. Lauralynn Elliott

    I definitely want a Nano buddy. I had three last year and not one of them posted a single word. Their status stayed at 0/50,000. So I’m going to hurry over to the Nano site and add you. I won last year and I hope to do that again. I hate to lose at anything, and that’s what kept me going last year. I got behind and had to kick up my per day word count, and that was stressful, so I want to try to stay ahead of the game this year. You can do it, too, Susan.

  2. We should have some kind of Nano Indie PNR-type team thing though. That could be fun. :is already thinking of ways to avoid working:

    • Lauralynn Elliott

      I can’t avoid working anymore. Period. I have to finish the novella I’m working on, start a novel on Nano, work on editing Jon’s second novel, finish beta reading Zoe’s indie guide. I have to get down to work. Oh, and I’m also helping a friend catch up on her son’s reading for home school. Not to mention that full time job I’m supposed to be doing as I’m writing this. LOL. I need to just organize myself and get things done. And you can do that, too. 😉 Don’t put stuff off.

      Sorry. I feel like I just took over your blog. *smacks forehead*

      • It’s good, it’s good! You’ve taken over my blog, now take over this draft…there you go. See, you had just enough time in your schedule to take on my work too. Shame you’ll have to give up potty breaks, but just cross your legs.

        Sorry, I was serious this morning, and my brain snapped under the weight of it. I’m actually leaving the computer for a while until I get some of the silly under control.

  3. Kait Nolan

    It’s all your fault that I’m diving into the crazy. Well okay maybe just a little. It’s been such a year of interruptions that even though I think November is a TERRIBLE month to write a novel for reasons you have already stated, I kind of want to take advantage of the fever and see if I can’t make up some lost ground. We all know who’s going to be doing my therapy when I start to exude the crazy.

  4. Stacey Wallace Benefiel

    It’s on, bitches. (and I say that in a most affectionate way) Let’s get to writing!!! All you people with way more to do than me have shamed me into signing up. Not that I didn’t need the kick in the ass.
    Susan, I’m glad that you’re being who you really are, because who you is is awesome. 🙂

    • Aw, ok, if you say “It’s on, bitches!” every day, I’m sure I can write 50K words.
      Way more to do than you? Don’t you have two very small children? Who has more to do that THAT?

      I told them at the knitting group today about selling 1000 copies. They applauded. Like with clapping. The Joss in me curled up whimpered from all the attention. But we’re trying to grow up and take it like a woman.

  5. I definitely need a buddy this year. Saw your comment on Zoe’s blog, came over here, and I was like, “I know this author’s work!” So I added you. I need to finish this year, if only for the sake of my work regimen.

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