The Ghosts of NaNoWriMos Past

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

NaNoWriMo is coming, and once again I am on board. I've been doing it since 2003, and while I was sorely tempted to give it a pass this year (because I have a lot on my plate) I realized, as the time grew nearer, that I just couldn't.

Why couldn't I? Because it's part of my workflow.

November is the month where I try to work through a story to see how it goes. I mean, I don't do this exclusively in November—I write all year round, and sometimes I just start writing something to see what I think of it—but what makes NaNoWriMo useful, for me, is the 30 day, 50K word goal. It forces me to keep working on an idea even after I get tired of it, to see if I can get excited about it again. November is the month when I fall in love with a story, all out of love with the story, fall back in love with the story, and at the end of it all I try to assess our relationship to see if it's worth continuing.

This will be my twelfth year. In the last eleven years I won seven times, but some of my losses were more useful—were, in the end, better relationships—than some of my wins. NaNoWriMo doesn't run on fairy magic—your content doesn't turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes 12 midnight on November 30. Wins are nice, but stories are better.

With that in mind, let me show you a decade's worth of workflow:

An Apology to Self-Publishers: #HaleNo, #bloggerblackout, and Sloppy Comparisons

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

About a week ago an author named Kathleen Hale wrote an article in the Guardian about how she reacted to a bad review by an anonymous book reviewer by trying to track down the reviewer in real life. It was stalking, plain and simple: there’s no other way to describe it, and there’s no reason it should be described any other way.

We're back! Don't sneeze.

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

My regularly scheduled irregular schedule was interrupted yesterday when I tried to be a responsible site owner and keep my site up to date. The best way to do that, obviously, was to very irresponsibly try to upgrade the entire server to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This mostly went well, except for the parts that didn't. Specifically: upgrading Apache 2.2 to Apache 2.4 is apparently a Very Bad Idea unless you know what you're doing.

... I didn't know what I was doing.

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