Tagged: personal

Thoughts on NaNoWriMo, Day 7

1. Did I seriously just change the word “milk” to “chocolate milk” because it’s one extra word? God, I’m desperate.

2. Who would my characters have voted for? Almost all of my POV characters are 13 years old…the only adult would definitely have voted Democrat. Dude grew up in Brooklyn, what else do you expect

3. Is it even possible to have a title before you’ve finished writing? Don’t titles stem from themes or important bits that you don’t know about before you start?

4. Decided to jump on the elliptical to see if I could jump-start my lazy brain and get some ideas. I got an idea, but it’s for a Naruto AMV that I’m never going to make because I don’t have footage. Some help that was. Oh well, at least my heart appreciates it.Is it cheating if I don’t deduct “Part 1, Chapter 4”, “Part 2, Chapter 1” and so forth from my over all word count?

5. Apparently, Sol’s need to use the bathroom is extremely important and worthy of spending multiple paragraphs describing. So is Kenny’s concern about what kind of pizza Andrew eats. Self, this story has a murder in it. Priorities much?

7. I just misspelled “cranky” as “crankly.” Now I want “crankly” to be a word.

8. Apparently, I forgot to decide what any of my characters look like except one, Austin. Austin was the template, so his stats appear under every single character. Austin is 6’3 and 200 pounds, he has a beard and he has sideburns. This description appears under Nanette, a four-year-old girl. Yup.

9. Writing two scenes at once is a good thing. I’ve found that being bored while writing is not always a sign of bad writing, it can be a sign of being partially brain-dead as a consequence of staring at the screen all day. As such, being able to flit between scenes is really helping.

10. When I finish my goal for tonight, I’m still going to be a day behind. I just can’t stare at the computer screen anymore, and I need to make dinner. My eyes are killing me, and my stomach is growling. 500 more words.

11. Self, stop listening to Clumsy by Our Lady Peace. That song is your inspiration for Little Bloody Rivers, not this new story. You’re going to start writing about Rue and Kit if you keep this up, and you’re supposed to be writing about Kenny, Andrew, and Sol.

12. I’m 30 words away from 10k, and I’m totally checked out. Oh, and that’s the goal for yesterday, but it’s all that’s going to happen today. Ugh. Maybe another line about Sol needing to go to the bathroom?

13. 10K 10K 10K!!!

Justifying the expense of entering writing contests…

Today, I finished writing a short story that I intend to enter in a contest. The contest costs $10. Thankfully, $10 is something that I can afford right now. Because this hasn’t always been the case, I find myself thinking about what else I could do with the money.

$10 could buy me four Metro Card fares with a dollar left over.

$10 could buy me between one and two packages of good tea, or between two and four packages of okay tea.

$10 could pay for lunch for two days.

$10 could get me two pints of ice cream.

$10 could contribute to my Pokemon Black 2 fund.

$10 could get me another turtleneck at Uniqlo.

$10 could get me ten books at Book-Off, and one book off of Amazon.

$10 could buy me a CD off of iTunes.

$10 could buy 10 Luna Bars

$10 could buy me a movie ticket if I went for a matinee.

$10 is what it will probably cost me to print and mail the story in the first place.

So there are a lot of things I could do with this $10. My inner cheapskate is screaming at me for considering spending it on a gamble. And that’s what a contest is. You pour your heart and soul into an entry, you do the very best job that you possibly can…and then you don’t win because someone else did the same thing and did it better.

I go into these things with the mindset that I will lose. Sure, I indulge in fantasies of literary glory, but I don’t count on anything. If I do, I’m bound to be disappointed. Sometimes, this attitude helps me. If I’m not afraid of rejection, there’s no harm in putting myself out there. But if I’m expecting to lose, and I’m writing a check, it can feel like a huge waste of money. I can rationalize this by saying that I’m supporting literary institutions. I care about that.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to priorities. I may not win the contest, but I care about my writing. I care about my potential writing career. I’m paying thousands of dollars to attend graduate school, which does not guarantee me a job, so why not spend $10 to potentially further myself as a writer? I’m talented, and I deserve to give myself chances to prove that. My basic needs are still covered whether I spend $10 or not, and my creative work is more important than ice cream.

So, those $10 are going toward my entry fee. If you’re trying to decide whether to spend money on a contest, think about what you’d use that money for otherwise, and think about whether that’s more important than a chance to prove yourself as a writer. If you can’t pay your rent without it, pay your rent, but if it’s going to trivial things, it may be worth the sacrifice.