I realize this is my World of Warcraft blog, but since everything is content and I just completed this, guess what? It’s going up on mah blahg.
NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. That, ladies and gentlemen, was my November.
I did it. I got my 50,000 words in 30 days. I actually did it in like 29 days, writing a bit during my night shift at work to finish it off. But in the end, I did what I set out to do. What’s even more surprising is that I liked what I ended up with and plan to edit it. I feel like this is going to be something that I do something with. Even if the end result is that I publish it and produce one single print copy for myself, it will be worth it.
Now many people, authors, whatever, finish NaNoWriMo and then publish a blog post discussion things that they learned throughout the process. Well, buckle up, because I’m jumping on that hype train, choo-choo! The difference is that most other people who write these types of posts are actual authors with publishing credits, Youtube channels, or even something remotely resembling real experience. I’m just a guy who decided that he had more years behind him than in front of him, and it was time to put up or shut up.
So here’s what I learned during my NaNoWriMo experience.
- Don’t stop writing. Derp. Sure, this should go without saying. You don’t get fifty thousand words in a document by wishing them there. You actually have to sit at a keyboard and put fingers to work. What helped me hit my daily word count was doing word sprints. I would use the website Write or Die for my sprints. I would set my limit for 850 words or so, knowing I could do that in about twenty-five minutes or so. I’d do two a day – once in the morning, and once in the evening. Two quick blocks to get it done.
- Give your first draft permission to be shitty. I have read this literally for decades. I have read this online, in books, and heard it in talks that authors would give to aspiring writers. NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing a flawless draft. Sure, many authors who do NaNoWriMo use it to develop a draft for their next novel. They have the chops and probably live the NaNoWriMo life where they are writing every day anyway. But for first-time authors or people who have written little things before and have been told they should write a novel, it can be pretty overwhelming. Two days in and I hated what I was writing. HATED it. I actually stopped writing (breaking my Rule 1) because it frustrated me so badly. But then I thought about it and reworked my mindset. This was about putting words down. It was about giving myself permission to be horrible. That’s what first drafts are for. That’s why you have a second, third, fifth, tenth drafts. Just put the material down. Clean it up in future drafts.
- Don’t edit as you go. This was kind of the lovechild between Rules 1 and 2. I started writing and felt the story changed as it went along. But rather than going back and making changes, I just kept writing as if those changes had already been made. “But won’t that make your draft hard to follow?” Why yes it would if I was silly enough to have anyone else read it. But since Rule 2 was in effect, I plan to wait and polish that turd before I let anyone else see it. Edits take place in future drafts. NaNoWriMo was about getting it written down.
- Listen to the story. This was a bit of all the other rules. Things changed as I wrote, which made every chapter interesting for me because it was all stream of consciousness. I had an idea where I wanted the story to go, but how it got there I wouldn’t know until it happened. By the end, my story had gone places I hadn’t expected and redefined aspects of the world I had created. It might happen again when I go back for the second draft. Who knows!? That’s part of the excitement of writing. Some of it may be formulaic but some of it can pick inspiration and creativity out of anywhere.
That’s what I learned from the experience. But if there’s one piece of advice I could give someone who has never participated in NaNoWriMo but have that idea in their head, it would be this:
JUST. DO. IT.
A lot of people say it. I’m saying it too. The difference being I’m just a guy. I’m not an author. I may be one day, and might even dare to call myself a writer. For now, I’ll settle for being someone who wanted to get a story told, so I did it. Trust me, you can too.
See you in NaNoWriMo 2019!
It’s been about a week since the start of 2018 and I think I’ll be sleeping out the rest of this World of Warcraft expansion.
It pretty much dawned on me when I did a preliminary calculation of my Hordeside Order Halls. The total came to about 59,000 gold. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at for one week of essentially logging onto my Legion app. But prior to this, I was putting up much bigger numbers. I did that by logging in twice a day, every day. But lately I’m only logging in once, almost every day.
We’re just talking about the app here. An icon on my damn phone, that I carry around with me all the time. That’s not even logging into the actual game, which I have rarely done for more than a couple minutes a week to refill my Order Hall resources.
I’m not even keeping up with WoW happenings. I’ve seen Youtube videos (isn’t that were most folks get their WoW news these days?) where people are mentioning events like buying Legendaries from vendors, and the release of the cinematic where we will retire our artifacts.
I’m not an end game players. I don’t raid, so I don’t care about Legendaries. I know it’s a pride thing for some people, and more power to them, but I couldn’t care less about the status of Legendaries. Legendary items should be rewards at the end of a long quest. Not something you luck into. But that’s old school RPG me.
As far as artifacts go, I think that was the last of my motivation for logging in. Why spend time making my weapon better when I’ll just be handing it in a few months from now. Especially when I have no reason to log in and use it.
I know me. I ebb and flow as far as my WoW interests go. I’ll be bored, then I’ll get bit by the bug and start playing something different. Maybe it’ll be to renew the Ironman challenge. Maybe I’ll want to wreck face in PVP. Maybe I’ll want to build a fortune on a new server.
Right now though, I’ll just keep clicking my app. There’s things in the really real world that have my interest, like the writing bug that bit me again and consumes my waking hours. Like the Pathfinder campaigns that I’m participating in and running. Also, the damn 2018 Pushup Challenge, where I try to do 2018 pushups in 2018. Currently I’m sitting at just over 500.
What are you doing to keep yourself occupied lately in WoW?
Dumping site today. That’s what this is, because I’ve got some free time and about a dozen things I need to get done. But I want to post something because I don’t want to let this blog slip. So yeah, I’m posting.
Useful? See picture above. I had a long weekend. So, things!
- In World of Warcraft news, I made about 90 grand in gold with my Horde
garrisonorder hall. Alliance-side, I sold a few Hexweave bags but made about ten thousand gold with three halls running. Both of them ended up netting me enough gold on each server that I managed to buy two tokens. One went to pay for a month of gameplay, and the other got banked so I could transfer an alt to the new Horde gold machine. He’s slowly getting set up.
- Briefly, setting up an Order Hall – for me at least, consists of getting six champions, unlocking slots to add the buff tokens on each, then getting their iLevel to 890. At that point, I will run the Meatball questline for the BEST ORDER HALL CHAMPION. Once I have him, I’ll either unlock the seventh slot or I’ll check the flowcharts and deactive the champion that’s performing the worst.
- Blizzcon just over two weeks away. I need to print out my ticket stuff, flight info, confirm my AirBnB closet that I’m staying in, and keep the Vitamin C rolling to stay healthy. I’ll be living off of protein bars, clean underwear, and cleaning products. Packing light is what I’m saying here.
- Tomorrow night I’ll be GM’ing my second Pathfinder Society scenario. The first one was a decent 6/10, but with the players a little more comfortable with their characters and me repeatedly running the scenario in my head to prepare, I’m hoping to put up some stronger numbers. I may even get some character scalps – it’s poor form to kill new players in their first RPG session ever. That’s out of the way, so all bets are off.
- I want to get my short story published before Blizzcon. Yeah, I’m working on a short story. I’m overthinking it, and I know I just need to get it all down and out into the world. But there were parts of it that I wasn’t happy with. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, but a couple ideas hit me when I woke up this morning. I made notes. Now I need to make it all happen.
- I have to get my gym routine sorted. Currently I’m doing the “hit the cardio to try and look pretty for when I meet my fellow nerdlings at Blizzcon”, but I need to get back to doing what I was doing at my old gym. I moved to a closer gym because the commute to the old place was eating up precious hours in the day. But the new place doesn’t have the gear that the old one did. So I find myself nitpicking when I just need to give my head a shake, find something heavy, and lift it repeatedly. And by “something heavy”, I mean something other than my lead ass.
See? Busy nerd here. No life-altering updates here, but I thought I’d touch base.
Consider this base touched.