Losing NaNoWriMo

losing

Today I’m going to talk about a very real possibility. Instead of telling you about my word count in NaNoWriMo (which unfortunately is still the same), I wanted to talk about the fact that some of us participating this year might lose. It’s a possibility every year, one that sometimes I try to forget, but it’s real nonetheless.

But is there such a thing as losing in NaNoWriMo? Maybe at the end of 30 days you won’t be at 50k, but if you’ve written something I think that’s still a win. NaNoWriMo is all about challenging yourself, and sometimes the challenge gets the best of you. That just means next time you’ll be better prepared. I know a lot of writers right now, like me, who are behind.

It’s the 16th day. I’m only at 10k, so right now I’m looking at the end of the month, realizing I might not be at 50k like I’d want to be. But this month also taught me a lot about myself as a writer and also what I need to do in order to be successful next time. Win or lose, I gained a new book out of this challenge, so I’m happy to be taking that with me.

Failure in writing is one of the hardest challenges. We see it in rejection letters from publishers and agents, criticism (sometimes), and writer’s block. All these things that feel like we’ve failed in some way are real. They challenge us as writers (whether you’re experienced or not). They make you ask the question “Am I going to give up?” And if you can move past the failure and write again the next day, then you know you’re cut out for this line of work. It’s not for everyone, but if you have the passion it’ll drive you unlike anything you’ve ever known.

So yes technically at the end of this month if you’re not at 50k, you’ve lost in the eyes of NaNoWriMo rules. But on the other hand, you might have won something bigger. And I truly believe if at the end of this month you can walk away and start December out with the intentions to keep writing, you’re on the right path. You’ve got this. Maybe this year NaNoWriMo just wasn’t for you. Next year and the years ahead of that all hold possibilities, and every time you try, you have a chance of succeeding.

If you’re behind, don’t worry. Keep on writing. Let’s make the most out of the time we have left this year. You never know, you might end up having a weekend without any plans and end up catching up. (Or accomplishing more than you planned.) Take each day one word at a time.

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I know I still owe you guys the post about hitting 10k in my NaNoWriMo novel. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten! I’ll be sharing that tomorrow, so be sure to check back in then.

Cursed With Power 4 year anniversary

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September 7th holds so much importance to me. Every year on this date I wake up and am blown away by the facts in front of me. This is all real, and it’s not just a dream anymore.

Since this is my first time talking about Cursed With Power on this new blog I wanted to talk about journey that brought me to where I am today. Some of you might have heard it before, but there’s always details I left out before, and I’m also talking about the future of my writing. Thank you in advance for reading what might end up being a long post.

The idea for Cursed With Power first came to me in the summer of 2010. This was during a time period where I literally could not find a book idea to stick with. I tried out so many different plots, characters, and none of them lasted. Many ended up on Inkpop (a writing website where you can share your story online for others to read), but in the end none of them last more than a few chapters.

Celestria’s story, though, was different. Right away from the beginning I was determined to write the story. I put aside everything else I had been working on. Those novels didn’t capture me in the way Celestria’s did. I like to refer to CWP as “Celestria’s story” a lot because it really feels like her story. She might not be real, but after all the years I dedicated to her and the story that she narrated, she’s as real as any fictional character can get.

Despite all the praise I give Celestria, she was not always the perfect character. Actually for the longest time when I first started this book she and I did not get along. I could not figure out her character for the longest time. (I think I talked about it sometimes on my old blog…) It was pretty rough for awhile, and I’m not sure at exactly what point I finally figured out her character.

Keep in mind I did all of this while in high school. That all plays a part in this too, because in my senior year (class of 2012!) I enrolled in a G/T independent research class. And my independent research became my book. I researched everything I could about Transylvania –the setting of CWP–in the 1500s. It wasn’t easy, and sometimes even my teacher was at a loss of where we could look. But eventually I found more of the material I was looking for, and it was in this class that I then started rewriting Cursed With Power. This was the major rewrite, though I can’t say if this was the last.

In the very, very early versions of CWP Alaire Sencler was no more than a minor character. Leal Irvine actually ended up having more of a role than Alaire. And during this major rewrite I did it switched. Alaire’s potential became clear to me, and thus he ended up joining Celestria in her journey.

Fast forward through countless rejections. I continued editing and rewriting every time sometime told me “eh, it’s not for me.” It wasn’t until nearing my graduation that I finally received an acceptance letter and learned my book would finally be getting published *insert screams of joy here*. And then it wasn’t until another 9 months that the book was released (due to one last major edit [with the help of my editor] and interior and cover design).

Four years is a long time. So much has changed since I was an 18 year old with my first book published. I’m married now, soon to be moving to an entirely different state, and we have three cats who run around and keep me busy. I work full time and write. My writing career didn’t officially start until Cursed With Power was published, but since then I’ve only set my goals even higher.

I’m 22 now with four books published. My fifth book, Clara and Claire, is something entirely new and separate from the Magicians series, and that’ll be releasing (hopefully) before the end of 2016. Every year since CWP I’ve released a book. And the Magicians series and Clara and Claire are only the beginning. I have so many plans for the future, so many stories I want to write, and I’m going to be sharing every moment of it with you.

Now I know this post was long, but I write a post up every year on this day as a reminder. Dreams don’t always have to be dreams. Follow them and be passionate about what you love. If you take anything away from this, don’t give up.

Thank you to everyone who supports my writing. I’ve been writing since I was 12, and I love that now I have people to share the experience with.

(Reminder, I’ll be posting again later tonight about editing day 2.)

Lindsey Richardson

Haven’t read Cursed With Power or the complete Magicians series? Don’t worry, the entire series is available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon (and everywhere else online where books are sold). Find all my books on my Amazon author page