New & Exciting Writerly Things.


While everyone I know in the writer world is getting deeply invested in their novel – hopefully already at 7,000 ish words…(I don’t honestly know because I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but hopefully you’re all exceeding your wildest expectations), I’ve been trying other things to remind myself I’m still adequate.

I’m really proud of all of you for attempting that novel you’ve been waiting for all year and preparing with notes on receipts, napkins, and library over due cards.  Maybe you have a journal with an outline of what will happen with your main character.  Or maybe you’ve just prepared for November by reading all of your favorite books over again and deciding what they have that you need to steal and insert into your own tangible novel.  It’s in your future, it’s in your hands, and you can do this (best Adam Sandler impression).  I’m backing everyone I know who’s writing something epic, even if I only love one sentence of its entirety.  (Which will never happen because you’re all small forms of Writing Gods).

Night Circus

Just for confidence: Night Circus by Erin Morganstern was started on NaNoWriMo and now it’s up for Book of the Year on  (If you haven’t voted in the GoodReads awards than you should probably get too that on your breaks for stretching, and scolding yourself for letting your character fall into that cave).  So, just because you’re sitting there running your fingers through your hair in obsessive  strokes every two minutes and the screen is still shining its great white expanse and all of a sudden your skin feels paler and sicker from the white blare – don’t worry, music can come too during NaNoWriMo – that’s why you’re writing everyday.  That’s why your dedicating November to gluttonous writing instead of gluttonous eating and all those tiny hairs you’d grow with a Movember stash are falling out because you’re losing your mind into a plot.  We all understand why you’re irritable, or grumpy, or need to fall into a Sleeping-Beauty-Esque-Coma, and at the end we will all wait for you to recite your novel during our bedtimes.  So prepare yourself, may the force of the pen be with each and every one of you.

If you’re a highly competitive writer/person then you should probably read this ridiculous Salon article on NaNoWriMo and prove Laura Miller (the woman with her polka dotted panties in a wad) wrong.  Haters always make me motivated (I said that in my best slang voice).

Rather than torture myself, and my hair (I’m a compulsive picker when I’m stressed, and not of hairs still attached but of the white-ended ones), I have yet to partake in National Novel Writing Month in the “writing a novel” capacity.  I don’t have characters in my head speaking too me for 50’000 words worth of paper, or characters that are itching those small neurons in my brain to write their Pulitzer winning stories, so I have declined any and all invitations to partake.  I don’t even, frankly, know what I want to write at this point.  Definitely not fantasy because I learned early on that my section of toy magazines was not the gun section, it was the Blonde barbie section.  I also am still letting the poetry muse dust by with her grumpy voice and whisper in my ear.  So, I’m not as totally focused on fiction or non-fiction as I should be.  I am becoming more interested everyday in nonfiction, but I think I’ve made that clear.

Here’s more of a list of why I’m not participating:

  1. My job(s) take over my life.  If I’m not at work, I’m usually worrying about a teenager, or worrying about a poem that may have been rejected that is still reverberating in my mind.  I’m also wondering who’s washing the dishes when I’m not there…(fret, fret, fret).
  2. I am not focused enough in my writing to dedicate myself to 50,000 pages.
  3. Because of that, and my competitive spirit thanks to years of year-round swimming, I can’t dedicate myself to something and not finish it.
  4. Then, I would be completely disappointed with the outcome of my 1st novel, if I could even call it that and probably sink into a depression of not being the writing genius I so think I am.
  5. I haven’t read Night Circus yet.
  6. I need to up my WPM before I attempt to let my mind drain novel escapades.
  7. I think all of my characters would have too much sex, and too many pimples.
  8. I need a writing cottage like Laurie Halse Anderson and Roald Dahl.
  9. I want to run a something(k) for charity so that I can get one of those cool stickers for the back of my car.
  10. This list is tiring me out, let alone an entire novel.

Roald Dahl's writing cottage, "The Gipsy House"

Inside "The Gipsy House"

Other writer huts/cottages/hovels can be found here.

So, in an effort to make up for my obvious excuses…I’ve joined this awesome website that I just discovered called 750words ( This website is AMAZEBALLS for competitive people like myself.  It judges your writing and how often you’re writing.  You get points for everyday you write more than 750 words and like bowling, the more days in a row that you write, the more points you rack up.  Not only that, but after you’re done with the 750+ words for the day, it tells you your most used words, how you’re feeling, what sense you most wrote about, and if you’re an introvert or extrovert that day.
Basically, it tells me how Capricorn I’m being after writing.
I’m focused on this piece due in January and right now I’m just writing preliminary nonsense, but I really want to enter this contest and so I need to be writing everyday – good or bad day.  Horrible smelling metaphors, or metaphors filled with light.
I think I can also recommend doing both 750words and NaNoWriMo because if you’re writing 750 words a day at least you’re getting somewhere on your novel and you can bet you’ll write more than 20,000 NaNoWriMo words for this November challenge.
Just try it out for a day, or start in December with their next challenge.  If you fail at a challenge (ut oh) prepare to be on the Wall Of Shame, DOOM DOOM DOOM.  If you’re excelling and you’re basically a star of a human being; so charming, so damn good looking and so smooth, prepare to be on the other wall – of EXCELLENCE.
So, test yourself.  If this year, your excuses piled up and you decided not to write the next Great American Novel… give yourself a break and try 750words.  Even if you don’t write everyday, at least you’re trying…that’s what counts right?
Keep telling yourself that, sucker.
Here are a few other websites that I thought were inspiring for NaNoWriMo:

5 thoughts on “New & Exciting Writerly Things.

  1. Jen de Ridder says:

    Love this post! I may have a slight obsession with a cottage. I am not the strongest writer so mine would be a reading space. The Night Circus is another book I desperately want to read. The author went to the same school as Michael’s wife Andrea and added another layer of need to read. Hmmm real world keeps getting in the way.

    • Cassie says:

      Jen! Ah! So happy you liked it. My boss just actually won a child’s cottage, but it looks like a mini-house and he’s using it as a reading space. I’m really jealous – it has hardwood floors and everything. I like Roald Dahl’s because it actually looks like a cottage with the vines and everything..

      I want to read Night Circus as well – I’m going to try in the next few months, if you read it first, let me know how it is! I think it’s becoming a movie even. And that’s crazy the writer – connection. Nicholas Sparks actually roomed with a kid’s dad that I used to coach in swimming and I kept waiting for him to show up at a meet, and of course the one meet I miss – he’s there with the wife and kids. I had to ask everyone what he was like in real life and then just follow him on twitter and hope I figure it out. :)

      Hope Summer Camp training is going well! I want to come break the World Record with you guys. Camp Hanes Power!

  2. Michael Ann says:

    I love excuse lists.
    I’m with you, but I’m also not a novelist so have no desire to participate in anything remotely related to writing a novel.
    LOVE the cottage! Yes, I’d use it for reading too, or blogging or just chilling away from humanity.
    Haven’t heard of Night Circus but sounds intriguing!
    Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog post about emotions. It made me laugh picturing the coupon ladies digging through my trash!!!

  3. emmabolden says:

    Thank you for this post. I always start NaNoWriMo then crash gloriously and burn hideously like a week later and then feel absurd Catholic guilt about it forever. I’m happy to see this perspective!


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