My New Year’s Writing Resolution is to finish my NaNoWriMo 2014 novel. I’m sure this is a pretty common resolution to make among Wrimos. A lot of family and friends knew I was doing NaNoWriMo, so when I saw them over the holidays they were kind enough to ask, “Did you finish NaNoWriMo?” And I always paused. I mean, I can answer “Yes,” but this is really a technicality because while I wrote over 50,000 words, I didn’t finish the story. And while NaNoWriMo is a great jumping off point, I think the real work comes during the rest of the year, when you have less contact with a writing community so you have to inspire yourself to keep writing.
So what to do?
Normally, I take off the month of December like many other Wrimos. You need a break from your novel, and December’s always super busy with birthdays, my wedding anniversary, Christmas, New Year’s, so my “free time” is usally eaten up with taking care of that and catching up on other stuff I pushed aside during NaNoWriMo. But you do need to get back to it, and even though the writing schedule during NaNoWriMo is pretty brutal, it’s still a wonderful exercise to develop a daily writing habit, and of course that’s crucial to staying with a project. And then of course, once it’s finished, you need to find a few kind souls to read it. For alot of folks joining a writer’s group can be very helpful so that they stay on track and learn to receive and give helpful feedback. Problem: I don’t usually do well in writer’s groups. In my experience, writer’s groups are organized regionally, rather than by writing skill, experience or genre, and very often the people I’ve been with in writing groups, while for the most part totally professional and nice, were just totally different from where I’ve been and there wasn’t alot of clicking going on. And then there’s the issue of time, which for me in my current position, and given my husband’s teaching schedule, is incredibly limited. Not that I’m lazy or I can’t drive or anything, it just means that where I go, my 7 year old most likely goes.
So… I was thrilled this weekend to discover that YA author Maggie Stiefvater was hosting a Critique Partner Love Connection which encourages writers in need of critique partners to post a short bio and read through other posts to find a suitable match. Did I dare? You bet I did! And I send messages to a few writers and readers who might be able to deal with helping me with finishing and rewriting my NaNo novel!