Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Friday Frenzy: The NaNos

Oh, what a fool am I.
So, I committed to two NaNos this week.
NaNoWriMo, of course, that you know about. But when Peggy Eddleman started talking up NaNoReviMo, I thought, why not?
Why not? indeed. Parallel Lives was just about ready to go. And it’s about time, too. I’ve been writing that sucker since last December (oh, and there was a good chunk of November when I was thinking about it). It’s past time for other people to see it, and I saw the end approaching: I was almost done. The way I figured it, I’d have it out the door in the hands of at least two readers by this past weekend. It would take a few days (or maybe even weeks) to get a response, and then I could look at the responses, process them, and get back to work on it. Yes to NaNoReviMo!
In the meantime, I figured I could make good headway on a novel that’s been in my head for closer to two years. 50,000 words in a month? No problem, I’ve done it before (Twice, in fact. NaNo last year, and it took just about a month to get the first 50K of Parallel Lives down last December). And the fact is, I need to get onto something else. I don’t hate the WiP, but there is that deep-seated need to write something new. You know all about it, I’m sure.
I closed my document last Friday feeling good. I was pretty sure I was done (again). I told one of my readers to expect it over the weekend. I knew there would be issues with it, there were some orphans and hanging bits here and there, but it felt like it was time.
And then I took one last, quick cruise on Saturday. Damn those last, quick cruises (actually not; I’m glad I did). I found a hole I could drive my grandfather’s 1966 Chrysler Newport through.
“Crap,” I said. “Oh, well, easy fix.”
Not so easy.
It took me three full days of pounding away at that problem before I got to the point where I could move on, and I’m still not sure I like the solution I came up with. And, like picking at a loose thread on a sweater, I found more problems that I just couldn’t quite live with. As a result, I’ve been living NaNoRevMo, and NaNoWriMo has lagged way behind. I managed to crank out 2074 words on Tuesday, and I’ve done absolute zero since. According to the NaNo tracker, I now need to average 1776 words per day to hit 50K by November 30. That actually doesn’t look so bad, really, but it’s contingent on clearing Parallel Lives off the decks.
The good thing is, I’m not all that worried about ‘winning’ NaNo. Yes, I’d love to get this idea fleshed out this month, but it’s not going to be the end of the world if I don’t. No, the novel that is nearly ‘complete’ is much higher on my priority list right now. That’s the one I’ve got to get done.
Other business: Many thanks to Cassie Mae for bestowing the Versatile Blogger Award on me last week. I really appreciate it, Cassie! I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself and then pass the award on to 15(!) other bloggers. Given my current condition, however, I’m going to cop out and say check out this post for Ten things about me, if you haven’t already. I’m also going to have to pass on passing this along right now, I’m sorry to say. It’s just that kind of week.
 I hope you all have a great weekend.

Photo courtesy of denizen24

5 Responses

  1. Oh Jeff – I'm feeling your pain. I've not been able to do a bit of editing since NaNoWriMo started. I'm sure it can be done, just a matter of figuring out HOW. Good luck.

  2. I still can't believe you are doing both at the same time! I'm so impressed. I think it's good to just go with your gut on what to work on, and not stress too much about winning NaNo.

    (Besides, revising is the best, right?)

    And congrats on the award!

  3. Thanks for the comments, all. I haven't even looked at the WriMo since I posted this, and have barely thought about it, but that's OK. I'd rather get the ms. finished and out the door.

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