Monday, September 25, 2017

Smite That Fear and WRITE THE STORY


In just one week NaNo Plotting Month (a.k.a October) begins…


Ahem. Just had to get that out of the way.

No clue what on this blue earth I’m talkin’ about? (“Blue earth” makes so much more sense to me than “green earth”. Hello? The earth is 70% water and only like…20-40% grass. So why is the expression “what on this green earth?” hmmmm??? #Tangent) “NaNo” is short for “NaNoWriMo” which, in turn, is short of “National Novel Writing Month”. NaNo takes place every November and is an event where writers all around the world try to write 50k words in one month. It’s my favorite thing on the planet and if you want to join in you can find the website and all info HERE.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, you’re most likely trying to decide what you’ll actually be spending your entire November crying over writing. Or, even if you’re not doing NaNo, you’ve still experienced the struggle of choosing that next writing project. All writers have to go through it. This is the writer’s life. And choosing which story to spend the next months? years? decades??? on and pour our time and energy and entire hearts into is no light matter.

Trust me, I’ve anguished over this. About a month ago I was literally losing sleep trying to decide what to write for NaNoWriMo. And a couple of years ago I made the decision to actually get serious about my writing, which meant the next book I write was the one I was going to stick with and edit and pursue publishing with. Which meant…I had to actually decide what book I was willing to work so hard on. No pressure or anything! Eheheheh…heh…*cue existential crisis*

During this time of decision, the ugly faces of Doubt and Fear like best to leap out of the shadows and poke your brain while laughing maniacally, as they do.

“What if this is a stupid story idea?” Doubt whispers.

“What if you’re unable to make it perfect?” Fear sneers.

Perfectionism runs rampant in the writing community. After all, we have these wildly amazing ideas running through our brains that we fall head-over-heels for and then when it comes to putting ideas into actual words… WHAT R WERDS? HOW DO I WRITE THIS???

I personally feel like it’s especially tricky with NaNoWriMo, because you’re choosing to write something within the span of just 30 days, while with my other stories I usually take 4-6 months and write them more carefully.

For a while, I had 3 or 4 story ideas to write for NaNo, most of them things I’ve been wanting to write for a while. But then the very same reason I’ve been putting them off this long reared its head: Because I want them to be just right. Which meant I couldn’t write any of them for NaNoWriMo especially. My NaNo novels are so messyyyy. I’m throwing them together in only 30 days after all! I can’t write my beloved story ideas now. I love them too much! They must be PERFECT. But what if I can’t make any of them perfect? What if I get it all wrong? What if I butcher the whole thing? I better not ever write any of these stories at all ‘cause I’m gonna ruin them and and and—


No, no, no, no. That’s just letting Doubt and Fear win. Which is the worst feeling ever. But we do it. I know *I* do it. I let my fear and perfectionism stop me all. the. time. How stupid is that?

If there is a story idea that you love, you should absolutely, 100% WRITE IT. After all, no one else is going to. Sure, there may be stories similar to your idea, but they won’t be your story. The way you imagined it.

Yes, the closer to your heart the story is, the more Fear will assault you, the more you’ll want it just right.

But here’s the thing: If you love a story that much, you’ll be willing to use the amount of time it takes to make it perfect. If it’s that close to your heart, you’re going to drain every last bit of energy and love you have to shaping it into the best it can be.

For a bit there, I was thinking I should just write any ol’ random thing for NaNoWriMo. Simply something that wasn’t close to my heart so I wouldn’t mind it turning into a mess.

Are you rolling your eyes and shaking your head at my nonsense? Because I’m rolling my eyes and shaking my head at my nonsense.

We should not settle on spending hours and hours and hours on a story we don’t care much about because, after all, what does it matter if it turns out messy? Noooo. What a waste of time and energy!

If we’re going to write a story, it should be BECAUSE WE LOVE IT AND WANT TO GIVE IT LIFE. We should be writing the stories that make us get up in the morning out of utter excitement to return to our storyworld and characters. The stories that make us come alive. The ones that runs through our veins and gets our hearts pumping and drives us forward every day out of sheer love for them. The ones that force us to push back the doubts and fears and stress and headaches, and just keep writing no matter what because our desire to bring these stories to life are stronger than any of those things.


I know you’ve probably heard this 7 billion times, but I’m going to say it anyway: FIRST DRAFTS DON’T SUPPOSED TO BE PERFECT.

This may sound harsh, but it needs to be said. You can’t make a first draft just right. Writing simply doesn’t work that way. Edits will always need to be made. BUT. The only way to make that story you love “just right” is to first let it exist. And the only way for it to exist is for you to WRITE IT. I saw a quote somewhere that said all first drafts have to do is exist, and that was so inspiring. Because it’s true. However messy and wrong and crazy and riddled with typos and plot holes it comes out, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s the first step to creating the story of your heart.

If you have a story you want told, then tell it. JUST DO IT.

I spent the last 7 NaNoWriMos writing a 7-book epic fantasy series and, my word, the disaster those books are. You can’t even imagine the mess I made with them. They’re something akin to letting a dozen toddlers loose in a room full of open paint cans—you know, a mess so large and unimaginable you just want to curl up and cry at the thought of trying to clean it all up. But do I regret writing each of those books? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I love that series. It’s very close to my heart. And though by the time I rewrite each book they probably won’t even resemble these first drafts, I still have a basis. Without those first drafts, I wouldn’t have a story to get “just right”. I wouldn’t know where I was going or who the characters were or what needs fixing or how to tell the actual story. Those unreadable first drafts were vital to turning my Colors of a Dragon Scale series into something worth reading one day. The first drafts will never, ever be “just right”, no matter how meticulously we write them. I wrote the first draft of Burning Thorns very slowly and carefully, and it still needs tons of edits. But the first draft HAS to be written. Don’t hold yourself back merely for perfectionism’s sake. (Sheesh, this very blog post went through 3 majorly changed drafts before it got to what you’re reading now. But you wouldn’t be reading it now if I hadn’t first messily wrote down all my thoughts.)

We HAVE to push aside the fear and just write the stories that are calling to us.

It took weeks, months perhaps, of hemming and hawing, but I finally settled on what I’m going to write for NaNo. Of course, then the doubts came. Because the more I thought about the story, and the more ideas I got, the more excited I was. Which also meant the more fearful I became of totally ruining this cool idea.

Like I said, the more we love a story, the more fearful we became.

But you know what? I’m going to write that story! And then when it’s time to revise it and I find it is a total, horrible mess and all my fears came true, well, I’ll just edit it until it is the story I want to be. But I can’t turn it into that without first writing it.

(And no, I’m not telling you what it is just yet. *CACKLES* But don’t worry, I’ll be talking alll about it come October. In fact, from now until like…Christmas, you’ll probably only be getting NaNo-themed posts from me. What can I say, I’M OBSESSED. IT’S WHO I AM. By the end of it you’re most likely going to be sick of hearing about my story and NaNo. *griiins*)

So if you’re wanting to write a story you love but are holding yourself back for fear of ruining it…STOP.

Take your pen and smite that fear back into the shadows where it belongs and WRITE THE STORY.

You won’t regret it. I promise you that.

I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite writing quote:

I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” –Shannon Hale

Write bravely, my friends!


Tell me, O’ Writerlings, do you let fear of not getting your stories “just right” hold you back? Do you take any specific measures to violently attack that fear away and show it who’s boss??? Come, let’s band together and help each other write the stories of our hearts, fearless and unashamed!


  1. That's it, Christine! You tell that fear and doubt! You can do this! I haven't actually decided what I'm writing for NaNo yet, simply because I'm not sure that I'll have time to do it. *sobs* But... if I do it, I know exactly which idea I'm doing it with. (Hint: unfortunately, it'll probably be editing...)

    1. Thank you, Faith! I shall do my best! *raises pen and charges*

      Awwww! It'd be amazing if you did NaNo but boy do I understand that no time thing! That's basically why I haven't had any major writing projects going all YEAR--no time. Silly life. >.> But if you do end up doing it, you must let me know! And hey, spending the month editing sounds like an awesome and responsible plan! I prooobably should do that myself, but the temptation to write something new is too strong. XD

  2. Your posts always get me so excited to write! I love it!
    I love your Nano posts, so I guess I am going to enjoy all your Nano things.
    You are going to kill it!

    1. They do? AWWWW!!! That makes me so happy! It's one of my biggest goals with this blog to encourage people to write, so to hear I'm actually ACCOMPLISHING that just...MEEP. It makes me so happy! :D

      Oh good, because boy do I talk about NaNo a lot. I'm glad I don't drive you all crazy. XD

      Thank you, Skye! <3

  3. SPOT. ON.

    CHRISTINE OUR BRAINS ARE SO RELATED!! Recently, I've really been putting off writing things (my Rooglewood Press story *cough, cough*) because they just don't feel RIGHT and if I write them,THEY'RE GOING TO BE A MESS AND I'LL RUIN THEM. *cue mental breakdown* Buuuuut...why? Why would that make me afraid? I mean, every other first draft I've written is a crazy mess and I still L O V E them, with all their flaws and holes and bruises. (They're very injured, poor dears. XD)

    It's just the WORST when fear and doubt plague my mind. I'm the world's most inconsistent writer (I've only written like...three times this month o.O) and when I see other people with their fancy writing schedules and alllllll their finished makes me doubt if I'm a "real writer." 'Cause, c'mon, REAL writers write all. the. time. So that means I'm not a real writer, obviously. #brainlogic

    UGH OKAY NO. This is something I'm learning constantly...and constantly forgetting to apply. :P I'm still a real writer--my schedule doesn't change that. My heart truly craves for stories, bleeds over every page I write. STORIES ARE A PART OF ME. And I can't live without telling them. THAT'S what makes a writer "real."

    ANYWAY. Now you know you're not the only one who goes on crazy long tangents. XD (I feel like 90% of my comments on here are me talking to myself, lol.) You're so, SO right about knocking that fear and doubt out and just WRITING. It's something I need to always tell myself! Those story ideas I get can only be told by me...even if they start in the form of a messy, typo-filled first draft. :) (ALSO. THAT QUOTE YOU INCLUDED AT THE END IS MY FAAAAAVE. I actually have it on my wall above my writing desk!)


    (OH. I wanted to tell you! Today is the two-year anniversary of the day we "met"!!! I commented on your bookshelf tour waaaaay back in 2015. I'm just like...amazed at the fact that we've been friends that long! I can't imagine a life now without my dear Lauri! Thank you so much for your wonderful friendship and for the way you made me feel like I belonged in the blogosphere. Your blog was the first one I commented on, and you made me feel so LOVED and at home. Just...THANK YOU, DARLING. Love ya!!! <3)

    1. *BEAMS*

      AGH. I am so sorry you've been feeling this way! I completely understand though. I, erm, sort of think a big reason why I've put off editing Burning Thorns for a YEAR now is because I'm terrified of not getting it just right. But it's *never* going to be right if I leave it sad and alone and untouched and not TRY to make it better. And I think that's it. We just have to try and try and try again, and keep pushing forward, and, eventually, we WILL have the stories we want. But if we sit back and do nothing, it'll never happen. And, like you said, you love your stories. WHICH IS WONDERFUL. I love your stories, tooooo! They deserve to be loved and written! (And I love your injured analogy. I can relate! Most of my stories look like they were in the worst car accident ever. XD)

      And MARYYY. You ARE a writer! Writing all the time is most certainly not a trait of a writer. o.o Look at Harper Lee! She literally only published ONE book in her entire LIFE (well, and then Go Set a Watchman at the end there), and yet she's coined as a great American novelist. And, girl, I'd be so excited if I had written three times this month. I've only written ONE short story for the entirety of the YEAR. Sometimes we writers don't write. Being a "writer" does not in any form or fashion mean "writing all the time" Gracious no! You said it perfectly...

      "My heart truly craves for stories, bleeds over every page I write. STORIES ARE A PART OF ME. And I can't live without telling them. THAT'S what makes a writer "real." <-- THAT'S IT. That is what makes a person a writer. If the passion of creating stories burns within you, YOU ARE A WRITER. No matter how consistently or not you pen them.

      YES. YOU WRITE THOSE STORIES, MARY. You make the most fun characters and plotlines. I LIVE for your snippets. YOU ARE A WRITER AND AN AMAZING ONE AND YOU SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID. (And oh my goodness, you have that quote on your wall? THAT IS AWESOME. I should totally print it out and hang it somewhere. :O It's literally my favorite writing quote!)

      AWK. You're welcome, girl! <33333

      (:O :O :O It's our anniversary of when we met??? OH MY GOODNESS. AAAAHHHHH!!! *GLOMPLES* That is so awesome! I can't imagine life without my Mary either! And...and...MARY. YOUR WORDS. I am not even exaggerating when I say I almost cried reading them. I had to just stop and stare out the window for a moment to gather myself back up, they touched me so much. I just...I don't even know what to say. I'M JUST SO GLAD YOU COMMENTED THAT DAY AND WE BECAME FRIENDS. YOU ARE A TREASURE IN MY LIFE. <3333333)

  4. AHHH I love that writing quote about the sandbox. Literally just used that last night as I was talking to my writing buddy about our drafting woes.

    I do have a really bad perfectionist streak. I'm guilty of editing before I finish drafting.
    Honestly, writing with a playlist seems to help - especially if I don't put the songs on repeat to finish the scene. I'll have to test that theory out more....


    1. Are you serious? What a crazy coincidence! But YES. It's my faaaavorite! It inspires me every single time I go to work on first drafts.

      Hey, editing while you go is okay! Every single writer has a different way they create stories. If editing as you write helps, then don't stop yourself!

      Ooooh yes! Writing with music is essential for my process. It inspires me SO MUCH. But I usually DO put songs on repeat. I like your theory of just keeping the songs going to force US to keep going... I may have to try it too!

  5. YES. IT'S SO HARD TO KNOW WHAT TO WRITE NEXT. For NaNo and just for everyday. So. Hard. I relate to this SO MUCH.

    (Related to said tangent, "on this blue earth" makes sense if you think of earth as a planet that's mostly water. If you're talking about the actual EARTH part of earth, a.k.a. the ground/dirt, which is actually what earth means, then the "green" makes sense because of grass/trees. XD Those of us who look at globes a lot would think of it as blue, but I betcha when that expression began, it meant the earth we see around us. ^_^ #alsoTangent)

    4-6 months to write a book? SUPERHUMANSPEED. *coughcoughcough* *takes about three centuries to write a book*

    Aaanyway, I love this post and it's perfect timing because literally last night I decided what I think I'll work on this NaNo, and your post hoooopefully will help me stay firm in that idea. XD

    Existing. Nice. I think I needed that...

    (Those dozen toddlers with the paint sound like all the charries from CoaDS. XDDD)

    "If we’re going to write a story, it should be BECAUSE WE LOVE IT AND WANT TO GIVE IT LIFE. We should be writing the stories that make us get up in the morning out of utter excitement to return to our storyworld and characters. The stories that make us come alive. The ones that runs through our veins and gets our hearts pumping and drives us forward every day out of sheer love for them. The ones that force us to push back the doubts and fears and stress and headaches, and just keep writing no matter what because our desire to bring these stories to life are stronger than any of those things." <--This is beautiful and I needed it and thank you.

    Thanks for this inspiring post! ^_^ I always love your postsssss! <3 (And NaNo ones are always cool, so no worries there. ;))


      (Oh my goodness. :O YOU'RE RIGHT. Because the expression is technically "What on God's green earth?" Which *does* kind of sound like actual earth on the ground, not the PLANET Earth. And, yeah, the expression is probably pretty old, so people weren't thinking about looking at the whole planet, just the...ground. WELP. You've solved yet another one of my many life questions. XD You're always good about doing that!)

      Oh gracious, not EVERY book gets written within that amount of time. And it's not like I'm writing a book on a constant basis. I only write 1 to 2 books a year. So...yeah. There is nothing super human about me!

      You've decided on your NaNo novel??? EEEEEEEE!!! NOW I'M SO CURIOUS. You'll be talking about it in your report today, riiiight? *wriggles eyebrows*

      (CELTI. Now I'm imagining all my CoaDS characters in a room full of paint cans and...I'm DYING. I'm literally sitting here snickering like a crazy person. That is quite the mental image! XDDD I'm sure Airen and Nyria are throwing paint everywhere, while Naidren is shoving himself in the corner groaning. Bryth is facepalming, and Eryth is probably standing there awkwardly, unsure what to do. Oh my goodness, I can't stop laughing! XD)

      AAAAAHHHHH!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, CELTI. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY YOU FOUND THIS INSPIRING. <3333 (And that's good to hear. I go a little crazy talking about NaNo sometimes...hehe.)

    2. Erm... so... I'm giving it a day to settle and see if I'm ACTUALLY writing it for NaNo. XD So I didn't actually say. :x But you won't be surprised because I've pretty much been planning on it, kind of, for awhile now, just... not official. I'm going to see if it sticks this week and by the time October hits hopefully I'll know for SURE. :D

      Airen would probably climb up a wall and start painting the ceiling, and dripping paint in rainbow colors on certain other characters, and Eryth would shake her head and Bryth would try to avoid the shower and not be able to, and probably climb up after him and confiscate his paintbrush. While Naidren just curls into the corner like stahp, shaking his head. And Nyria starts swinging around the room on a special swing for painters to sit on, and so Airen retreats and starts going down a ladder just as Eryth is climbing up the other side of it and they meet halfway and look at each other and smile. :D

    3. THAT'S OKAY! No point in locking yourself in. Making decisions is stressful, but, at the same time, it's kind of so fun having ENDLESS possibilities of things to write and being able to do whatever we want! I'm experience that especially this year since I've known what I was going to write for NaNo for the last 7 years. XD But ANYWAYS. You'll figure it out, I know you will! ^_^

      OH. MY. WORD. You nailed my characters PERFECTLY. That is precisely what would happen! XDDD Especially the whole Bryth confiscating Airen's paintbrush. It's so accurate, I can't! And poor Naidren. Nyria and Airen with a paintbrush?? He'd be in a nightmare. BUT THEN THE AIREN AND ERYTH BITS. SO TRUE!!! THIS IS THE BEST. But AGH. I don't need to be thinking about them. Because then I'll get all nostalgic and sad that I won't be writing their stories. For the first time. In 7 years. It's so weird to think about! O.o

  6. Ah, yes. NaNo prep season is upon us and I am woefully underprepared. *nervous laughter*

    "The only way to make that story you love “just right” is to first let it exist. And the only way for it to exist is for you to WRITE IT." <-- YES. THIS. I'm going to put that on a note and stick it near my desk.

    This phase of fear and doubt always happens after I finish a draft and I like to think I'm getting better at handling it? Which usually means avoiding all writing projects for at least a week and watching a lot of TV. It works. Sometimes.'s challenging not to question everything and overthink, but having a finished draft means digging in and finding the good stuff. Like you said, it's a little less fear-inducing to have a draft full of potential than a story idea that never gets written at all—especially if it's a story that really WANTS to be written. Even if they turn out completely different than planned, they'll exist on paper and can be shaped into something great! Even the messiest of drafts has something good in it!

    Eeep! I can't wait to hear about your NaNo project!

    1. You've got this! We still have a whole week and a month to plan. I know you're gonna come up with something spectacular! ^_^

      *clutches heart* You're going to quote something *I* wrote? Day = MADE!!!!!

      Yes to EVERYTHING you said! I love how you worded it! It is challenging to not questions everything. I'm the worst about overthinking things and second guessing myself! But, like you said, once we have the first draft we can then dig in and find the good stuff. Because there IS always *something* good that can be found in every single draft, no matter how much of a mess it may be. Thank you, Jameson! You're such an encouragement! *hugs*

      *grins* I can't wait to share about it! :D

  7. I've always been a HUGE supporter of the idea of just writing the thing, you know? A lot of time people go over how they need to pick the RIGHT story and I just feel like...if you like the idea of the story, why not go for it? Especially with something like NaNo, where you're not EXPECTED to turn out an excellent draft, you know? When it comes to NaNo I pick a fun idea and just go with it, most of the time. Sometimes it's good, sometimes I #regret it later, but it's always fun times. *nodnod*

    Feels Like Hope

    1. I LOVE YOUR THOUGHTS! And I agree! Some of my most favorite stories I've made are the ones I just spontaneously started writing. I often find stories come out so much better if we just write what we feel, instead of overthinking things until we're not so sure about the idea anymore. Sure, it's good to have a plan, but if we have a fun story idea we want to write, then why not write it??? And during NaNo especially, most definitely!

  8. TT_TT This is BEAUTIFUL! It's like a call to arms!!! Amen. LOVE ALL THE WERDS

    1. LOLZY. THANK YOOOUUU!!! And YES. We must band together and fight the writers' arch-nemesis: Fear. *pulls out ultra sharp pencils and charges*

  9. YESS I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I only have a vague idea of what I want to write for NaNo, and already there's so much fear: "but what if I can't find a plot? what if I just waste this month on a stupid story?" <--- LIES. Because I will obviously learn from the NaNo experience no matter what happens. Ack, Christine. YOU SPEAK SO MUCH TRUTH AND IT CALMS MY SOUL. Thank you for this post and all of your words. <3 <3 <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

    1. D'awww! That makes me happy!

      Yes, I know those fears well! Ugh. It's the worst. I'm sorry you're struggling with that! D: But as you said, they're LIES. Every single story we write is a growing experience. And, very often, once we start writing we find we love the stories. Or, even if we don't, there's hidden gems within them that can be used later. Basically, EVERY STORY MATTERS IN SOME FORM OR FASHION. So you write that NaNo story, Katie! IT'S GONNA BE EPIC.

      I'm so thrilled my words were of help. We must fight back that evil Fear and WIN! *pumps fist*

  10. Thank you for this wonderful post!!! And thank you for reiterating that rough drafts are just that - ROUGH. Because when I sit down to write a story, I usually don't get very far because I'm constantly re-reading my sentences and basically editing everything one sentence or paragraph at a time. And let me tell you, it makes my writing EXTREMELY slow going. It's hard to just type without looking back. But I think I'm getting better... I've seen gradual improvement over the last few years!

    And regarding that little tangent about the "green earth" (which was funny, btw), I always understood it to be referring to the actual earth we stand on - the dirt, the soil. I usually only think of the planet Earth if "earth" is capitalized. If it's not, then I think of dirt, lol. (Upon reading the other comments, I just realized that Deborah O'Carroll said almost exactly the same thing. Oh, well... she and I think alike, I guess!)

    I can't wait to learn more about your 2017 NaNo novel! :D


    1. Awwww! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it! ^_^
      I understand that struggle! I do that a lot, too. I often have to force myself to STOP reading back over what I've written and just WRITE. Editing as you write isn't forbidden or anything though! Lol. But it can halt progress. I think sometimes we just gotta get the whole book written and then worry about fixing it up later. *nods*

      Lol! Yes! My silly brain didn't think about it being actual earth, as in the GROUND, for some crazy reason! I love how you and Deb had the same thoughts. You two are the best! XD

      D'aww, thanks! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all! :D

  11. I LOVE that Shannon Hale quote! It's so great. And now I'm second drafting and actually building castles and ... gah. You are so right about everything, Christine. Great post!

    1. Isn't it the greatest thing? It inspires me so much!

      Go you for building those castles. :D YOU'VE GOT THIS! *waves pompoms*

      D'awww, thanks so much, girl! <3

  12. ACK NANO IS COMING TOO SOON HELP ME. *panics along with you* XD

    Aww, this is so encouraging Christine! This really made my day so much happier. I'm working on a new story and this makes me less afraid to begin. It's been taunting me for weeks, but this is just the thing I needed! Thank you so much for sharing this! ^_^

    1. Nothing like panicking with friends! ;D BUT SERIOUSLY. HOW IS IT SO SOOOON????

      *flaaaails* It makes me so happy this was an encouragement! And how exciting you're starting a new story! You've totally got this, Madeline. It's going to be amazing! *hugs* <333

  13. LOVE THIS. I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading November. Usually I have a rule for myself that I must FINISH writing my current project before starting a new one. Currently I have one book in the editing stage, one in the writing and another one in the writing (almost done!!) stage that kind of slipped in there. It's the backstory for the villain in my novel-that-I'm-editing. It was necessary for character development. *cough* ;)

    Anyhow, I think I may go ahead and start a new story for NaNo that I've been itching to write since last winter. I was already leaning towards that choice, but your post definitely pushed me along. ;D

    Wow, you've done 7 NaNo's before?? THAT'S FANTASTIC. This is my second. :) (I did Camp NaNo this past April, though.)

    BEST WISHES FOR NOVEMBER!!! I can't wait for more of your NaNo posts. :)

    1. THANK YOU! ^_^
      I have the same rule! :O It's really the ONLY way I actually *finish* my stories, otherwise I'll get distracted by the next shiny thing that comes my way and then just have dozens of unfinished novels lying around. So yes, it's a good rule to have! But wow, I am in awe at your ability to have three things going at once. YOU GO, GIRL!

      Awww! That's exciting you're going to write something new. I think NaNo is the BEST time to throw together those plot bunnies that have been persistently enticing us. I'm excited for you!

      It kind of shocks me when I think about it. My first NaNo is still so vivid in my mind. It feels like I just started doing NaNo! And yet here I am...8 years later. IT'S CRAZY.
      But I am in AWE of you guys who do NaNo AND CampNaNo. I've only Camp NaNo I think? One NaNo a year is enough for me! XD

      THANK YOU! YOU AS WELL! :D And I'm very glad to hear that, because I've got yet another NaNo-inspired post going up Monday. *sheepish grin*

    2. I honestly didn't plan to have three going at once. Two is my limit. xD But thank you!!!

      Good point! NaNo kind of requires something we're "in love" with, like you said in your posts. We need a story that motivates us to keep going. New ones are great for that, I think. :D

      I'M IN AWE OF YOU DOING NANO FOR 8 YEARS!! I'm not sure I could do it that many years in a row. xD

      YAY! I'll be checking that out, then. ;)

    3. Hahaha! Sometimes stories just INSIST we write them, even when we have no intention to. So many of my stories came into existence that way. Lol! They're so pushy... XD

      I agree! Nothing like a fresh, new story to re-energize us!

      GAH. THANK YOU! I'm...a little obsessed. Heh. I kind of work my whole life around NaNo. It's crazy. XD

      D'aww! ^_^

  14. Great post, Christine! I'm a little nervous about this NaNo because I'll be doing it while juggling with a part time job and I'll be writing in a genre I never have before. XD Thanks for the pep talk!

    1. Thank you!

      Awww! I know you're going to do amazing. You ALWAYS inspire me by how dedicated you are to your writing, no matter how crazy your life is. I know you've got this! *waves pompoms*

  15. To echo everyone else in the comments: I LOVE THIS POST. I'm not doing Nano this year (because college), but choosing a new story can be scary for all the fearful reasons you mentioned. Sheesh, even stories I've been working on for YEARS make me wonder sometimes if I'll ever get them perfect.

    This is so timely, because the new Snow White story I'm writing for the Rooglewood contest is very, very imperfect right now. And wanting to meet the deadline while writing exams and studying and working makes it easy to doubt myself. But you're so right--first drafts just have to exist! (Thank God for editing.)

    Okay, but now I'm SUUUUPER curious about your Nano project! It's been CoaDS every November for as long as I've known you, so I'm on pins and needles trying to guess what you're choosing this year! :D

    1. EEP. Thanks, Tracey! I'm so glad! ^_^

      I kind of suspected you wouldn't be able to do NaNo this year. But that's okay! Some times in life just don't work out. And hey, you're going to college to work TOWARDS your writing career, so you're still always working toward your dream which I think is so fantastic.

      But anyways, YES. I often feel the same way with stories I'm already working on and have been for a long time. I'm the worst about second guessing myself and thinking maybe I haven't found that PERFECT story yet (which is probably why I'm constantly writing new stories and not editing my old ones...) But I think all that matters is that WE love the story. We write because we love it, it's really as simple as that. ^_^

      I'm so in awe at you for tackling that amidst college! YOU ARE AMAZING, GIRL. Yes, just get that first draft written. It's gonna be great, I know it is! (And goooodness yes, editing is a wonderful, wonderful thing. XD)

      Tehehehehe. I'M EXCITED ABOUT IT. It's actually been CoaDS every November for ME, too! Lol. It's the only thing I've ever written for NaNo. So it's really weird to be doing something not CoaDS related, but also exciting. I adore CoaDS but after 7 years of it, it's rather nice to have something NEW to work on. Lol. And don't worry. I'll be doing a post allll about it around the end of this month (once I get it more plotted, because I can't really tell you guys about it until *I* know what it's about XD). And then I'm sure I'll be babbling about it all through November. Lol.


    I don't really let the fear take root but... IT'S THERE. It is so very much in the back of my mind WHENEVER I am writing.

    I want it to be as perfect, as beautiful, as majestic and unique and original and brilliant as I see it IN MY HEAD.

    And it's NOT. When I put it down on paper, it's an ugly mess. Word vomit. Ugh.

    I think... as writers, we think "this story will be different!!! When I put pen to paper or hands to keys, it will flow perfectly out just as I imagine it!!!"

    Alas... THAT IS NOT TO BE.

    Thank you so much for this post, Christine! BECAUSE I CAN RELATE.

    1. YES. YOU PUT THE STRUGGLE PERFECTLY INTO WORDS. It's so disappointing when our majestic ideas turn into "word vomit". XD It's just like WHYYYY? WHY EVEN BOTHER????

      But we bother because WE LOVE IT. And we CAN turn it into something beautiful eventually, but first we have to vomit out those words. To create those crazy first drafts so later they can be edited into the brilliant stories we imagined. (Thank goodness for editing!)

      I AM GLAD THIS POST WAS RELATABLE. You're so welcome! <333

    2. Such is the life of a writer. What was beautiful in our heads will always look ugly on paper. *sob*

      EXACTLY. It's just the process of polishing, yes???


    3. Awww! But we CAN eventually turn them into the beautiful things in our head. It may just take some rewrites...unfortunately. Heh. But it's worth it in the end!

    4. Currently editing my first novel and it's hard but... SO REWARDING. I'm really enjoying myself actually - delving deeper into the characters' personalities and learning more about them and how to implement that into the story. Fun stuff!!!

    5. You are? EXCITING!!! And I am thrilled to hear you're enjoying it! I, too, am knee-deep in edits but, like you, am finding it extremely rewarding. Watching my story shape up and polished and expanded into something better just makes me happy. ^_^

      I do hope editing continues to go amazingly for you! *tosses you motivational cookies*


    I read this a week or two ago, actually (*ahem* procrastination issues *squirms*), and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I'm doing NaNo in a way, and I have a lot of concerns related to the story I'm working on, but THIS HELPED SO MUCH AND THANK YOU SO MUCH. <3 <3 <3

    It's so encouraging and relaxing to know that JUST WORKING ON IT counts for something. No, of course I won't have it perfect and amazing and exactly like it's supposed to be IN THE FIRST DRAFT, but I can START. And that's important.

    So, again, thanks ever so much, mah love. I really appreciate it. <3 *HUGGLES*

    1. AAAAAHHHHHH, GIRL! *glomps* I cannot even tell you how thrilled I am that this post was helpful to you! Yes, just working on your story counts SO much. After all, if you didn't put one word in front of the other, there'd be no story. What matters is that you STARTED and are WRITING. Eventually, it will all come together, you just have to be kind to yourself and keep plugging away.

      You are so welcome! Your comment encouraged ME. I do so hope first drafting will go well for you! *huggles back* <3


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