Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Nanowrimo Prep

Well my birthday has come to a close in a great night of food and happiness and now I’m back to the grind-or back to the journey! The grind sounds way too much like work and while writing may take loads of dedication, determination, and time, but it certainly doesn’t equate itself to work. Now that I’ve gotten myself over that- let’s get into the topic of the post: Nanowrimo 2012. Ah the times are a’changing-I feel like Camp Nanowrimo was just yesterday.

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Keeping Up the Pace

Well I missed a blog post yesterday, but what are ya gonna do? I had an idea for a pretty solid post and then of course, the joys of pointless labor kicked in. I worked at Stop n’ Shop until 1 and then Toys r’ Us until 9 at night. Lame. Well I’m not going to get all socio-political on you and explain the modern slavery of a non-resource based economy so I’m going to hop right into this madness. The madness of writing. To those who don’t really think writing is in fact madness may I explain to you the actual act of the craft (as far as fiction applies): you create people and places in the confines of your brain and then you write them down on a piece of paper. See when normal people make up people in their heads we call them crazy, but we’re not normal people are we? Oh no, we are writers and normal is as far away from reality as we choose to be.

The other day on the blog I mentioned how I wanted to build my writing pace up in preparation for Nanowrimo, which if you don’t know is a writing event where writers around the world attempt to write a novel in 30 days. I began my pace at 1000 words a day and have been on and off with that. Definition? I’m only at 3000 words! I know, I know. I’m working my way back up to 1000 words and will be writing 1000 words tonight, tomorrow, and the day after. In On Writing by Stephen King, he mentions a writer who everyday of his life would write for several hours and when he would finish a manuscript, he would toss it aside and start another piece of work. This is the routine I want to start myself on and I know I will succeed with hard work.

Over the next couple days and weeks you will notice massive changes in The Gray Pen. I am hard at work at solid content, a domain name, new pages, special events, author interviews, guest posts, and tons of other good stuff. Keep your eyes pealed.

Thank you to my readers for sticking through the ups and down with me. How’s everyone doing with their own writing? Would love to hear it.


Went Home from Camp Early. Tips to Write More

It was a good week stay in summer camp, but I got homesick and had to call my mom to bring me home. Well, to be honest I’m not rally talking about summer camp; I’m talking about Camp Nanowrimo. Never heard of it? Well here you go! In June I wrote a post about how I discovered that Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) had a practice term over the summer they lovingly entitled Camp Nanowrimo. Two sessions occurred one in June and one in August. I elected the August route and went on to write my novel The White Witch, but like I mentioned yesterday trouble was afoot. After the first week I held one of the highest word counts in my cabin (or group), but then my cheapo laptop decided to shit out on me. If it wasn’t for the glorious invention of the flash drive I would have lost my introduction and the first several chapters. It would have sucked. Bad.

I discovered Nanowrimo several years ago and my experience with it have been lackluster at best. In 2011, I posted one or twice about it , but my idea never got past the drawing board. Meanwhile in August of this year I decided to tackle the premise with little thought to a general outline; something I find to be exciting. But I have never successfully completed an entire 50,000 manuscript, let alone tackle the damn thing in thirty  days. While it’s a bummer that I couldn’t have completed the Camp in August, I’m thankful I still retain the 10,000 words that I had written. Rest assured, I’m working on cultivating a writing pace that will allow me to easily take the ideas that run rampant in my mind and slay them across the page. I’ll worry about killing my darlings with editing sometime later though.

So what is there to do to build up my writing pace and overall writing production overall? Well I’ve been thinking about that too, and here we go:

  •  Write every single day without exception. I want to start with a goal of 1000 words as of today (of fiction) and do this for the next week. Maybe I can step it up when I’m comfortable to 2000 or 3000 next week or two weeks from now.
  • Every Friday or Saturday do a “writing sprint” which will be a much longer duration of writing at upwards of 5000 words or until my fingers fall off. I’ll be talking about this within the next couple of days.
  • Participate in Write 1 Sub 1 or W1S1, which is a little writing challenge to write and submit one short story per week. I think this is damn fine challenge and will be starting today 🙂
  • After a draft is finished hide it, bury it, and dig it back up once I cool off.

These are just a couple of tips that I am going to advocate and use for myself. I’ll certainly let you know how each of them turn out.


Do you have any tips to write longer per day? Would love to hear it leave your comment below!





Sleep Journal and finding Inspiration

I’ve been tiptoeing back into the writing game and besides this little blog here I am still a far way off. Somehow I want to inch myself to 2k words a day to prepare myself for the August Camp Nanowrimo event. Well I’ve mentioned in my post Dream Scapes , that my dreams have made a turn for the bizarre, yet wonderful. Each night I am gifted with near hours worth of narrative content etched along my brain. While these dreams may only physically appear within minutes, the dreams feel like an eternity that draw on all of my senses truly allowing me to develop an understanding of emotion within these narratives. Now while these dreams are random and without direction, I do believe it will one day be possible for me to manipulate the dreams and use my sleep cycles to  power my own writing.

I have several scraps of paper around my now clean bedroom listing the events of my dream. I find that the further I am away from the dream, the more my memory seems to fall away. But a journal seems like the perfect solution. Even Evernote or list on my hard drive could fulfill the need to remember such dreams. What ideas could be picked from my subconscious? Well my ideas are the means behind my war and the words are weapons, but I must take the ideologies and utilize my weapons with finesse in order to craft the perfect war machine of the arts.

Even a hundred or so words a night will be a start. By the end of July I want to be at nearly 2000 words a night. That was my old writing schedule before I tanked. Maybe if I finish Camp Nanowrimo, I can even step up my game to 3000 words a night or even 4000 by November! What? Can you imagine the possibilities of writing 4000 words a night? A novel length manuscript in merely 10 days? Of course, it’s unrealistic, but being able to slay the blank page with such returned confidence would be crucial.


Well guys just checking in with you ,letting you know I’m not giving up and I’m continuing to build my forces until I can conquer the blank page.

Camp Nanowrimo


Well two nights ago I received an email from Nanowrimo.org about a summer version of Nanowrimo that they offer via Camp Nanowrimo. Now if you don’t know what this odd sounding word means, it is an annual writing contest/ event where writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a mere 30 days. So that’s like 1500+ words a day. Oh yeah.

Well the fun really comes from meeting other like-minded writers as you struggle to fulfill your word counts.  This summer version is the same, but somewhat different.  It is more lax and offers two separate events the June version and the August version. Once it begins you are grouped with 8 (I think) other writers in “cabins”. The idea is cool and there are preferences to determine  who will end up in your confines of cabin-mates.

I’m very excited for this cyber-camp ground, because I have failed the last two Nanowrimos. So far I have signed up for the August version, but I may just sign up for the June as well(free of course).

Anyone else doing Camp Nanowrimo? Let me know in the comments so we can “bunk” up.

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