I can’t be the only one who is reminded of Mork from Ork whenever I read NaNoWriMo. Can I? Okay, I probably am.

I’ve barely begun this post, and already I’m in danger of falling down a rabbit hole.


via Walt Disney Studios

It happens more than I’d like to admit. I start by reading some of the great articles that fill my inbox on a daily basis on either the craft of writing or book marketing – things I really need! Or I’ll be researching a tidbit for a scene I’m working on. Either way, the next thing I know, two hours have gone by. That’s not to say that I’m not learning about the stuff I need, but I’ve  more than likely been distracted from the task at hand.

As C C told you last week, all three of us are participating in NaNoWriMo this year. So the pressure, self-induced or not, is on and the clock has become my sworn enemy. Time is something that I have in short supply, particularly the time I have to devote to writing. The bad news is that whatever I do in the name of “research” can quickly become a significant time suck.

The problem with rabbit holes is that the can pop up out of nowhere. They can appear when I’m on a roll, and the words are flowing from my brain to my fingertips like the Falls at Niagara, but I’m more likely to fall in when I’m feeling as dry as a Mexican arroyo.

The good news is that a lot of the time I do manage to emerge with a tidbit or two that sparks an idea, something I can run with and is useful to whatever I’m working on.

“What are you working on?” you might ask. The answer to that is a little complicated. I came back from our last retreat full of renewed enthusiasm for our just-published book, Eden’s Fall**, as well as the work we need to do to see the next two books in the series, Winter’s Thaw and Venus Rising, to fruition. I’ve always known where my characters were going to end up at the end of Book 3, but I feel like I have a better grasp of the arc they are going to have to take to get from point A to point Z.

So I came back, raring to go, then, of course, real life began to slap me upside the head and demand that I “snap out of it.” I’m playing the lottery, throwing coins in fountains and wishing on stars, but until one of those things pays off, I have to keep working the day job.

I have pieces to write for Book 2 as well as the outline for Book 3 to work on! Both of those things require me to type words, so at least I’m adding to my count for NaNo. There are many days when I know I’m throwing verbal spaghetti against the wall of my laptop screen.

I’m suffering a crisis of confidence at the moment. My “people” are strangely quiet, and though the first book in our series is out, I still feel like a hack and that I’ll never get “my” book out. Apparently, this is something called “Imposter Syndrome” and every writer, no matter how many books they have under their belts, will go through it at one point in their writing life. While even five years in it scares me to think that other people’s stories/books depend on me, I’m determined not to let it frighten me into inertia. So I keep typing. “Fake it ‘til you make it” as they say. We’ll see, at the end of the month, how much of it makes any sense and is usable.


Dreamstime Stock Image

There is another task I’m also working on. I’m blowing the dust off my early Venus Rising manuscript to comb through it for anything that still fits into what will become the current version. While this might not seem to be as pressing as my other assignments, whenever I’m feeling blocked or uninspired, at least I can do something that moves me forward and keeps me connected to the story and my characters. They’ll wake up eventually.


*with apologies to H.G. Wells

**Eden’s Fall is now available from Amazon, Kobo, B & N (currently paperback only – ebook coming soon) and iTunes/iBooks. Thanks for your continued support!