Tag Archives: word count

Yeh! I’m a Winner!

I passed my 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal today at 51,009! It feels fantastic!

I wasn’t sure I could do it, but now I’m so glad I did. But the journey isn’t over for me yet. I still have about 6 chapters of material to finish an entire rough draft of my manuscript. So, I’m going to try to continue my 2000 words per day until I finish those chapters. I would feel remiss if I didn’t.

I’ve truly enjoyed turning off the editor and just getting it all out on the page. But I’m also looking forward to working on some polish of those chapters and am excited and thankful to have help from my fellow writer friends who will read my more polished work: Jen Schile, Jessica, and Emily.

Thanks for your support in this journey. I’m excited to see where it will lead to next.

Lorraine Wilde

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Positive Feedback

I’m still kicking ass with NaNoWriMo. I’m currently at 29,169 words, approximately one full week ahead of schedule. I’m really liking the approach, which is to write with little or no editing. Of course that means that the draft I have is quite rough, as Ann Lamott’s Bird By Bird refers to it, my shitty first draft, but I don’t think its all that shitty. So I’m optimistic that I can use December and January to whip these chapters into shape.

I have a couple of writing friends who graciously will be looking over my chapters during that time and they can only improve.

I woke up to a new rejection this morning of my book proposal, this time from St. Martin’s Press’ (one of the big girls) editor, Michele Richter. Calling this a rejection seems like a misnomer though. I think I’ll start calling it a “pass” when it sounds like this one. It’s always hard to know whether they’re just being kind, but I’d like to think there is sincerity here. I met Michelle at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference and she seemed like a true New Yorker, not one who beats around the bush to spare people’s feelings, so this pass is very encouraging to me.

I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully will send out my proposal to another round of agents and editors in February or so. I think I’m waiting to hear back from only one more agent from the round I sent out in August.

Here’s her e-mail message in all its glory:

Dear Lorraine,

I enjoyed meeting you very much, and I thank you for sending me EGG MAMA. You do have a fascinating story to tell, and there’s certainly an inspirational aspect, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on the chance to make you an offer. Memoir is a very crowded market, and we’re having to be more and more selective with the projects that we take on. I do think that your writing is engaging, and that someone else will snap you up and give you a happy home. I wish you all the best of luck.

best, Michelle Richter

Feeling Blessed

Well, it’s only 1:45 PM and I’ve already hit my 2000-word-per-day goal. Today was actually 2339!

And it’s making me feel incredibly blessed. Blessed that I have the time in the schedule to do the writing, blessed that I get to be a stay-at-home, work-at-home instead of trucking to an office every day, and blessed that I have so many great things to write about. Indeed, the subject of my memoir is the many blessings I have as the mom of twins and Egg Mama to another set of twins.

Sometimes I feel so blessed I forget to think about the other millions of women who suffer each day, each month, with infertility. I just read a very thoughtful blog by Jay Bronte, where she struggles with how to stay positive about her infertility when her second opinion reveals a uternine polyp missed by her first physician. You can read her poignant post, It’s the Great Infertile Charlie Brown!, here.

Wishing you all bountiful blessings and massive word counts.

Lorraine Wilde

NaNo Start

Wow, I really think I can do this. I was nervous because all day there were other things to be done and I didn’t get around to sitting down to write my NaNoWriMo stuff until 5:15PM today, and I’m going to a 7:30 PM movie. But I DID IT! Today, in 1 hour and 15 minutes, I wrote about 2800 words. I’m f@#$ing ahead of schedule!

Yeh for me and yeh for all those other writers out there who are writing like crazy. It felt good.

I worked on chapter 3 in my manuscript. It was almost therapeutic becuase I was writing about a day that happened about ten years ago, the day my mother became a paraplegic.

I’m so excited to take on this challenge and to be diving in to working on my manuscript more heavily. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Lorraine Wilde

Ready, Set, NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow is November 1 which means National Novel Writer’s Month actually begins.

I’ll be attempting–no I WILL write–2000 words a day of my memoir and/or articles related to it. Of course, on some days I’ll definitely write more. If you do the math, that overshoots my goal of 50,000 words, good or bad, by midnight on November 30. But I’m told this is wise in case there are a few days thoughout the month where 2000 is just not possible.

I’m noticing a pattern. Not only am I doing my own rogue version of NaNoWriMo, I’m also taking an unconventional approach to acheiving the writing goal. I purposely signed up for an all day “Craft Affair” which is one of those 12-hour shut-ins that obsessed scrapbookers do to get caught up. Its perfect for this. It’s on Saturday, November 6th. That day I will write at least 5000 words, and print some family photos for the grandparents if there is any time left over. Three meals, snacks, and beverages are provided, plus there are raffles for great prizes like spa days and gift baskets. The best part is that several of my girlfriends will be there when I need to gab. If you want to join me at this retreat, there is still time to register and it’s only $45. Let me know and I’ll help you get signed up. All proceeds benefit my friend Joann’s kid’s preschool.

Aside from helping me finish the first draft of my entire memoir, I’m also hoping that this will help me implement a more consistent habit of daily writing (perhaps with a lower word count) that I’ll be able to maintain after it’s over.

I like the idea of this challenge because it gives me a pass for an entire month to say no to almost everything else. Again, thanks to Cheryl Richardson, I keep repeating my new mantra, “If it’s not an absolute yes, then it’s a no.”

Of course there are many things I can not get out of. I’ll still have my all important mommy job, I’ll be teaching a 2-hour ecology class once per week, and I’ll continue to take my bootcamp exercise class. But otherwise, everything else will have to wait until December. I hope my friends don’t take it personally that I’m choosing writing over them for one month. We’ll just have to wait and see!

I’ll be posting my total word count here. It’s not to late to join me.

Wishing you all a Happy Halloween and a very Happy NaNoWriMo.

Lorraine Wilde

Productivity

I’ve had a less productive couple of weeks when it comes to writing. I don’t think it’s connected to my latest rejection, but I’m not ruling that out entirely.

I think its because I was trying to write about a subject that causes me some anxiety. I have been working on a parenting article about whether or not to allow toy guns in the house. Not exactly an earth shattering topic, but for some reason, the subject meant enough to slow me right down. I’ve been motivated to work on lots of other things, but not that. Facebook, exercise, improv, cleaning the bathroom, and writing this blog post all got done instead.

In avoiding my own writing, I was also able to critique other writer’s works, which I found profoundly satisfying. So its a misnomer to say that I wasn’t productive over the last couple weeks, but the writing hasn’t poured out of me as easily as it has in the past.

Productivity in general has never been an issue for me. I’ve always been a do-er. I always have a list I’m working on, usually three or four, and I feel guilty if I spend most of a day lounging and reading.

But recently I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying the time I do have to hang out and socialize in an entirely new way. Now I’m socializing as a writer. When I’m at a dinner party, in a bar, or at the theater, I’m not just there hanging out, I’m taking mental notes as well. I’m studying strangers as if they are characters in my book. I’m noticing what they’re wearing, how they wear their hair, the hint of an accent in their voice, and how they talk to their friends.

So maybe I’ve actually been more productive than I realize over the last two weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the connection (or the absence of one) between toy guns and handgun violence and about what it takes to “describe” a person fully.

In her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott talks about calling around. She says that writers spend a lot of time alone and it can make them crazy. She recommends taking little breaks to call around to learn specific things about the world so that it can be incorporated into your writing. She spent the better part of a day calling wineries to determine that the wire thingy that goes over the cork on a champagne bottle is a wire hood. Then the wire hood appears as the most memorable reference in one of her best selling books.

So maybe, productivity isn’t just about word count or the number of publications, but maybe it’s also about paying attention, even when you don’t know how a particular piece of information will be useful in the future.

I’ll be wrapping up and sending out my piece on toy guns tomorrow so that I can move forward. But I’m going to work hard not to judge the recent days with little writing.

I’m hoping tomorrow will be a fresh start to get me back on track toward actually getting some words on the page. I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo which begins on November 1st. I’ll be attempting to get 50,000 words down in 30 days. Please let me know if you’d like to join me for any part of this big new adventure.

Lorraine Wilde