Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Hangover

This is the 2nd year of my participation in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I am pleased to report this is my nine-year-old daughter’s first participation in the Young Writer’s NaNoWriMo, and her 1st win. This year we have won together.

Thousands of writers, young and seasoned, participate in NaNoWriMo every November. The quest for adult writers is to hit 50,000 words in 30 days. 50,000 has been deemed the minimal number of words to consider a novel, as opposed to a novelette or a novella. Authors from across the globe do this one month marathon for many reason, and to each their own.

For myself, I’m one of those people who loves a good challenge, but put accolades to be won in front of my nose and the competitor in me grunts and growls all the way to the finish line. I love trinkets, little charms, even digital, that show my accomplishments. A trophy for starting. A trophy for hitting 10,000 words. A little digital sticker for writing a specified amount of days in a row. Yep, those are my motivators. I should’ve been a Girl Scout, I would’ve been awesome.


50,000 words, although technically a novel, has never been enough words for me. I’m usually fetal and crying on the cutting room floor when an editor says 118,000 words is just too much. “B-b-b-but, they are my babies. I can’t just cut 10 to 18 thousand words!” Well, with that bit of information, my NaNoWriMo marathon is only the beginning. But after one month of prep, one month if strict writing and focus, an awful lot of inappropriate words, and sheer seclusion from anything other than fictional characters, I am spent.

Plain and simple, the marathon for two years in a row has turned into the death of two stories. I’m just not fit to go on for another 50,000 (at least) words. Oye vay. Yet, there are those finish liners, those gold medal winners who go on and push forward through to completion. I salute you, and think there should be a digital NaNoWriMo golden book sticker for those writers whom complete NaNoWriMo AND actually keep writing their book to completion. Maybe then I would finish a marathon book. I do love my accomplishment awards.

Am I the only writer out there that suffers NaNoWriMo hangover? I’d love to hear your comments.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

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Do Text Messages Count?

NaNo Date 24
Time 1013 PST
Location: Breezy California desert oasis
Companions: Felines, Voices in my head

Nano, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the USS Have I Lost My Damn Mind. My mission: To create conflict and resolution while integrating plausible story lines and fulfilling character development. My nemesis: the romance genre, combined with the wicked forces of cruel daily word counts. Together, with voices in my head and furry feline companions, we boldly go where my word count has never gone before. 50,000 words in 30 days!

My journey began strong 24 NaNo days ago. Hope filled the tips of my fingers as they plucked at the back lit letters on my Sony Vaio keyboard. We were hopeful. We were bright-eyed with ideas, even though we only knew the beginning and the end. We strove for success one word at a time.

We were naive.

NaNo date 24. We are exhausted, fingers calloused, wrists aching. Our once bright eyes now scream out for daily doses of Visine, searching blindly for reading glasses tucked away last Christmas. The beginning has passed, while the middle is seemingly endless in its pursuit of a climax. One plot twist!!! The voices in my head scream for one miserable plot twist. They bicker now and conspire to side with a lesser word count.

Why did I take on this task? I was naive.

But I plow forward, wondering if I could somehow fit this blog into my story to increase my word count. Does that signature I wrote on my check count? How about text messages? I write a lot of those. Facebook updates? Tweets? So many words wasted away from my daily goal. Alas, there are only 6 NaNo days left in this journey. I beg my characters to stay with me, to keep the journey just six more days. Together we will carve our way passed the middle, run to the top of the climax, and dance around the plot twist, sprinting through bubbles and rainbows toward the end.

Until then, send words … I am afraid we are losing hope.


The Pain of Productivity

changes Ever wish there was more time in the day? Maybe in the year? How about your life? I’m torn. On the one hand I can’t wait until the end of the day when I can sleep it off. On the other hand there isn’t enough time to get everything done.

What is my life? Well, in 2011 when I was on disability my life consisted of writing and attending court every other day. It was miserable and wonderful all rolled into one. In one regard I was able to follow my dream of writing, in the other it was a tragic and devastating year for my entire family … makes for great writing though.

In 2012, I returned to the work force, albeit it was a slow transition. After the dark year of 2011 there were many changes in my life, the biggest being the newly shared custody of my sweet baby girl, whose father moved over an hour and a half from me. That was a game changer. I took an on-call position with no benefits or paid time off, yet worked full time hours and more. I was also thrust into having to commute weekly to pick up my daughter. Since my time with her was now shared, I found it difficult to give away the time we had together to doing anything other than being with her. This left me with zero writing time.

Do you know what happens when you have zero writing time? The voices go away. They don’t disappear per say, they simply grow quiet and go down to a low lull. I still hear them, and they still beckon me, but I have to put them off to be a responsible adult and manage my home and family. Single mom status is not as glamorous as Hollywood makes it out to be.

So during NaNoWriMo month I pledged to start writing. How did that turn out? Epic fail! 500 words, and it was more venting through characters than actual story line. Then the night before Thanksgiving I was hit with something exciting: the stomach flu. What good can from the stomach flu? Well, after realizing I would be living in the bathroom for 24 hours it occurred to me that I could spend that time productively. So, I grabbed a copy of Be Still and a red pen, and while my intestines slowly died I edited my book. TMI? Too bad.

The moral of the story is: I have to be in physical or emotional pain to be productive. So here’s to all of you who can relate … out of the ashes rises the Phoenix.

Tania L Ramos, RN and author who’s finally on solid foods