As you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. During NaNoWriMo, participants try to write an entire novel – 50,000 words – in just 30 days. Those who have participated say it’s draining but also a lot of fun. And successful participants make a ton of progress on their writing!
Well, a group of us in the Pens and Needles writers’ group on Ravelry were lamenting the incredibly poor timing of NaNoWriMo. November just isn’t a good time for focused writing, given that it contains a major holiday (Thanksgiving) and is poised right before the holiday season – just as everyone’s trying to get their holiday knitting, weaving, etc. done. I’ve never participated because November is the height of chocolate season – a girl’s gotta have her priorities!
Since quite a few of us weren’t able to do NaNoWriMo this year, we decided to hold our own version, and RavWriMo was born! During the month of January, participants will set lofty writing goals and cheer each other on as we try to achieve them. There’s a thread for RavWriMo goals in the forum (you’ll have to join Ravelry to read it, though), and we’ll be posting our progress daily.
My goal for RavWriMo is simple: get the rough draft of the book done! I’ve drafted about half the chapters already, but they need substantial rewriting to align the tone/style/content into a single coherent whole. The other half are yet to be written. Once I have the rough draft of all the chapters, I’ll need to finish annotating and tagging my interviews, integrate interview material into the chapters, rewriting where necessary. Once that’s done, I’ll need to think about what photos I want to add and how many. Then I’ll look at the detailed outline and do a structural overhaul so it flows reasonably smoothly. Finally, I’ll ship it off to my editor at Schiffer for her to take a first look, and to my writing coach for her to make structural suggestions. All during the month of January. Just 30 days left!
Fortunately, I’m taking a week off work, and will be going to a small cabin in Ft. Bragg (about two hours north of San Francisco, along the California coast) to focus on writing for nine days. That will be January 17-25, so about two weeks from now. I’m actually hoping to have most of the chapters drafted by then, so I can focus on integration during my retreat. I can write chapter drafts in an hour or two here and there, but trying to assess and unify the structure and style of the entire book is something that I think needs serious chunks of focused time. So I am going to try drafting four of the seven remaining chapters before leaving on my retreat.
While I plan to focus primarily on writing, I’ll need to take breaks from time to time. So I’ll be bringing my little inkle loom, and some inkle and tablet weaving supplies. Also a printer, second monitor, laptop/mouse, index cards, and various minor writing tools (scissors, tape, etc.). There’s a reason I decided to stay local – I couldn’t possibly fit all that into my luggage if I were flying!
Speaking of inkle looms, here’s the latest on the Ashford Inklette:
This is using the Monk’s Belt structure and pattern described in Anne Dixon’s The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, page 100.
I’d best wrap up here as our plane is getting ready to land. I’m looking forward to getting home and seeing these wonderful furry tykes again:
And if we’re lucky, they might even meet us at the door!