Tuesday, November 30

Posted by Laurel Garver on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 18 comments
Today is the last day of November and as I look back over the past 30 days, I'm SO glad I skipped NaNoWriMo in favor of NaBalWriMo (national balanced writers month).

I had a number of goals for myself and accomplished a few of them, as well as a few things that should have been on the list. Highlights for me include:

More exercise.
Committing to regularly walking the dog also got me pumped to bike more often. Hobbit girl and I have found some great places to ride and we've had a blast.

Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return to you.
I've been decluttering the house like crazy and donating stuff whenever possible. During one drop off, hobbit girl wanted to pop into the thrift shop to look at books and videos. She found some Harry Potter stationery and I got a freaking miracle. There was a Maytag portable dishwasher (the kind you hook up to your kitchen sink for an hour) for $50, or 10% of what the machines cost new. At last I could be free from my 10 years of sink slavery without having to spend a fortune to redo the entire kitchen. We removed one cabinet and voila, I now have an extra hour a day of not doing chores!!! Woo hoo!

Reaching out.
I participated in Harry Potter week with some old and new blog friends and had so much fun! After nearly a year and a half of running this blog, it was great to rekindle my enthusiasm for it. I also finally got an author page for myself up and running on Facebook. It's been great connecting with people there and that's helped tremendously with query jitters.

Letting myself off the hook to produce has been a mixed blessing. While not writing has loosed the grip of perfectionism that had been so immobilizing, I also began to feel lonely not hanging out with my characters. I missed them and yesterday dove back in to work on plot knots.

Movies, I found, were wonderful for restoring my courage and sense of play, perhaps because it's a different medium. The documentary American Teen is one I'd recommend to my YA writing friends if you ever need to remind yourself why reaching out to kids this age is your passion. Disney's Tangled will instill you with hope that old things can be refreshed and made stronger. If you're bogged down in revisions, this is the flick for you. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows instilled in me once again that evil wins when good people do nothing and that pursuing a calling can be hard and thankless at times, but support is near and abundant.

How was your November? What things have refreshed you during dry times? Have you ever taken a break from writing? What brought you back to the desk?


  1. Gosh, I haven't had time to take many breaks. But, the other day, I did something quite different. In the mornings I usually make my coffee and go straight to my desk, but instead, I took my coffee to the loungeroom, grabbed my bed spread and watched 'Absolutely Fabulous' for breakfast. Best thing to watch in the morning. Laughter always get me off to great start.

    Glad to hear your refreshed! :o)

  2. Wow, sounds like your November has been fabulous. Congrats! What this shows me is that time will go by whether I choose to use it wisely. You've given me a boost to plan better. Thanks!

  3. I did NaNo. I don't even remember my last name yet.

  4. I love your wrap up list. (and I'm dying to go see Tangled...maybe this weekend.)

    I Nano'd as did 5 of my CPs and we all 'won'. Now I'm trying to get ready for the holidays, so I'm taking a break from writing.

    Happy Last Day of November!

  5. I had a good November! I finished NaNoWriMo, and got a lot of writing done. I've haven't taken much of a break from writing in a while; but I've taken steps back to write in several novels and to stimulate ideas.

  6. Ooo, sounds like you had a great November. Mine was good too. Not *quite* as productive as yours, but I did meet quite a few of my goals. Now we'll see if I reach some of my "end of the year goals" by the end of December.

    Happy Tuesday!

  7. Jessica: even quick breaks can help so much, can't they? Your story reminds me strangely of the animated film Monsters Inc.--the characters learn laughter is far more energizing than fear.

    Y2: No one plans to fail, but we often fail to plan, right? Setting daily, weekly, monthly goals can be wonderfully motivating. Good luck!

    Tina: sounds like you've earned some much needed rest!

  8. Nice post. It's like a breath of fresh air.

  9. Lola: Tangled is really fun, and as a writer I was amazed at how they made the plot more coherent and snazzy than the fairy tale Rapunzel. Congrats on your NaNo win!

    Golden Eagle: Good for you! And brainstorming is important too.

    Shannon: Glad to hear your month was good. And good luck with your year-end goals. I was productive in lots of areas besides writing, which sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do.

  10. Awe wow. That's really nice! Sounds like you did indeed have a pretty balanced November!

  11. That's so great that you got to go to the movies. And keeping things in balance is always good. I let the perfectionist thing get to me too, something to work on I suppose.

  12. You had an excellent month it sounds like! I'm going to have to check out American Teen. And I really want to see Tangled. And, of course, you already know how much I love HP :)

  13. You had a productive November, Laurel. Isn't de-cluttering fun? It feels so good! I did PiBoWriMo (far less stressful than NaNo) and got a lot of writing done. It was a good month for me. :-)

  14. Lois: Thanks. I said no to NaNo and it turned out just fine.

    Colene: Had I written a smidge more, it would have been bliss, but I think that's just the perfectionism talking. I know I'll be more creative for having taken a break.

    Angela: I think having laid-back people in my life constantly challenging me to be messier about my creativity has helped a lot.

  15. Lisa: American Teen is out on DVD--I got it from my local library. I'm amazed how much teen life hasn't changed since I was one back in the days the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

    Shannon: Decluttering feels awesome, but my family fights me on it so much! Once I removed 2/3 of the toys from my daughter's playroom, however, she's been tons happier.

  16. Wow, sounds like you had a great November! :) I wrote 50k and plan on finishing the novel this month (which means adding another 40-50k)

  17. Great post. I'm so impressed that you've been washing dishes by hand.

  18. Great success for you!!! Good for you sorting and purging. That is always a satisfying feeling. I like watching movies, but have found through reading blogs that I don't have to feel guilty about that because it is another form of storytelling and I can learn from it. It does stimulate ideas in me and characterization, etc. Plus, I like writing plays, so a screenplay might be in my future.