I don’t have much time to talk today, but I did want to mention: Remember how I was flipping out earlier this semester about trying to get my creative writing prof to write “excellent” on one of my short stories, instead of just “very good”? GUESS WHO FINALLY GOT AN EXCELLENT TODAY. And I have to believe a big part of it is because I finally let go of my insecurities about trying to live up to my past and how others want me to write and all that. When I wrote this short story, I did it purely for the sake of writing for myself and enjoying it, rather than trying to write a good story or get a certain grade or live up to a certain expectation. It was really liberating.
Today’s post is an interview about National Novel Writing Month.
In order to give you a broader perspective on NaNoWriMo than you’d get from solely my experience, throughout the month of November I’m sharing interviews with various, totally awesome NaNo writers.
Today’s interview comes from one of my best friends and vlogging partner, Hannah Rose! Hannah was one of the first people I met at U of M–we met in the Spanish class last year (you know, the really intense and scary and difficult one?)–and we’ve pretty much just been spending our time at college being weird and nerdy and writerly together ever since. You can read her blog here or watch our vlog here.
Q: Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo, or are you a veteran? What do you think of the event?
This is my very first ever year of doing NaNoWriMo! (Thanks Julia for semi-forcing me to do it.) The event is super awesome! I’m so excited but also strangely stressed. I feel like I’m under all of this pressure to write when really it isn’t any different than usual, just longer and faster. I think it is a really good experience, though, and the community is so great. I know four people just in my hall doing it, which is really cool.
Q: In one sentence, what is your novel about?
Finding my story.
Q: Plotter or pantser?
I like to take off my pants and pants it up. Just kidding. But I am definitely a pantser. However, I usually need to have at least a little plot in me or I get really, really blocked and end up staring at my Word document for hours, which is kind of sort of happening now.
Q: Do you have any particular process for writing? Do you have a certain location you like to write at, or a type of tea you need in order to brainstorm, or anything like that?
I usually like to come up with a phrase or something that I think is interesting. Then somehow that turns into an idea. One time I wrote a murder mystery just from the idea that I wanted to write about a barbed wire fence. It just sort of evolved. I would also call myself an insomnia writer because I definitely get a lot of my writing done in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I figure, if I’m going to be awake, I should probably make this time useful, ya know? I really like to listen to music while I write, too. There is one song that I know will get me thinking and typing whenever I hear it, so I usually start with that. After that it’s whatever I feel like at the time. I’m totally into chill indie folk stuff and film and television scores (they make me feel so epic!). Other than that I can pretty much write anywhere as long as I’m comfortable, so couches and blankets are pretty common in my writing area.
Q: Any writing advice?
Read a lot. Write a lot. That’s the only way to know what you like to do and figure out how to do it well. Also, find your support group. These people should help you feel amazing but also be super real with you when you need it. They should push you to try new things so you get better, without being mean. Who really wants that anyways? Finally, don’t get discouraged. Remember that if something isn’t working out, maybe right now just isn’t the right time to write that particular story. Good luck my fellow writer people!!!!
A special thanks to Hannah for letting me interview her, and thanks to you for reading this post!