tracycembor

Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

This Might Be a Bad Idea…

…but I’m going to do it anyway.

Camp NaNo 01 I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April. I am still finishing my last month of school, which involves a business plan to write, as well as showing up for my full-time job and raising my daughter each day. Clearly I am not suffering from boredom with all the things I have to do.

Except that I am bored, at least a little bit, with the recent draft of The Dreamless City. I feel like I keep treading over the same ground, and I really want to know What Happens Next!! So, I have decided to set my recent draft aside for a month, let it get a little age on it, then I can look at it in May with a fresh set of eyes. I’ll have gotten some of the jitters out of my system.

I have to fess up to very bad habit of mine — I love, love, love to start new things. The rush of diving into a new project is huge. Can’t get enough of it, sooooo you can see how this is an issue when trying to write a book. There are a whole bunch of half-finished projects (and half-finished video games) in my wake.

So I was in a bit of a conundrum about what to do. I was feeling that itch to start something new, but I’m obviously not finished with my current book. The short story project took the edge off, but that was a small bandage to my growing preoccupation with Book Two. Nissa, Daschel, and Reynard have a new adventure that is even more exciting than the last (at least in my mind it is).

Camp NaNo 04 I have made a deal with myself… or is that a deal with the devil. I forget. I will give myself 30 days to get all of Book Two out of my system, then I can go back and put the finishing polish on The Dreamless City and get it out to beta readers. I figure that by the time I am done wrestling with one novel, I’ll be ready to switch back to the other one. We’ll see if this works…

…otherwise I may need to find a new hobby.

Oh, and my Camp NaNo word count after lunch is 500 words. Yay!

31 comments on “This Might Be a Bad Idea…

  1. moonstoneselkie
    April 1, 2013

    Wow, and I thought trying to juggle school, Camp NaNo, and A-Z blogging was going to be hard! I wish you the best of luck with trying to finish Book 2. Your blog has interested me from the moment I found it, and I only wonder further what your novels will be like. I hope to see you on the book shelf one day! :]

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Um, I like to keep busy? I have realized that once I finish grad school, I’ll just find more projects to fill up my free time. /shrugs

      Yeah, I sometimes wonder what my novels will be like too. /wink It’s been a lot of fun working on them though.

  2. katemsparkes
    April 1, 2013

    I think it’s a fantastic idea. I bet once you get book 2 laid out, you’ll gain new insights into book one. Can’t hurt to come back with fresh eyes, either!

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      That’s a good point that wasn’t readily obvious to me. Once I know better where I am going, I can set up for it more in Book One. See, a fresh set of eyes is always a big help.

      • katemsparkes
        April 2, 2013

        It’s helped me a lot. Yay foreshadowing! :D

  3. Paul Davis
    April 1, 2013

    Keep at it! Trying it as well. Hope you do well.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Thanks for the encouragement. :) Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo too?

      • Paul Davis
        April 2, 2013

        According to the registry, yes. According to my word count, not so much. I’m hoping to get a jump on it tonight, but life might be interfering.

  4. averythorne
    April 1, 2013

    Best of luck, NaNoWriMo contestant. Prepare for the most grueling month you’ll ever face!
    It’s. Just. That. Hard.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Yes, NaNoWriMo, no matter which month it is, is super tough, but it is also super rewarding.

  5. Przemek Kucia
    April 1, 2013

    I know exactly what you’re talking about in terms of being bored when you actually should be on fire ;) My “itch” to start something new is really strong but the same time I feel “the weight of responsibility” for all those undone things… So I am closed in this limbo where I can’t start anything exciting and things undone remain undone. Grrr, it’s tough! Or maybe it is some form of light depression because in Poland we have the most beautiful winter this spring and I really need some sun ;)

    But I’m not here to whine! Alarm button! I’m crossing fingers for your success whatever terms of success you have put on this month (and the whole project of Dreamless City) :D

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      I’m surprised to hear you say you suffer from the same affliction as me. With your recent travels, speaking engagement, and networking, I wouldn’t think you have time to be bored.

      Not to rub it in, but we are having perfect weather in Atlanta this week. :P Sunshine, 68 degrees, slight breeze. I might have even sunburned my nose a bit at lunch yesterday.

      And thanks! I’d cross my fingers too, but that makes typing tough. ;)

      • Przemek Kucia
        April 2, 2013

        Yeah I know, I know. I shouldn’t be bored yet I am – ones perception is never objective… There was nothing new – same travels, same topics, same alcohol, same hangover ;) Hmm, the light depression theory might be more true than I wanted to admit with my little joke xD

        … And as typical Polish man I obviously have to envy you for the weather to the point of where I’m consumed by hatred xD You can call me Darth Przemek now.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      I wouldn’t have mentioned my good fortune if I had realized I would end up with a sith lord on my hands. Don’t worry, springtime will eventually make its way to the northern climes too.

      And I suggest new alcohol and new hangovers. Actually, you should try new travels and new topics, it will be easier on your liver.

      • Przemek Kucia
        April 2, 2013

        I’m no good at being a sith, so no harm has been done. Jedi may sleep well.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer Maybe I will write my Frankenstein ;)

        Um, the liver… We have quiet days now, but I think it’s better than constant arguments over “nothing” (and this is reference to famous Polish priest – Jozef Tischner. He once was asked “what is nothing?” and since it has been asked by simple highlander he replied “half a liter (of vodka) on two”) ;) I don’t even know why I did that joke… But it’s ok, let’s forget about it ;)

  6. shanesbookblog
    April 1, 2013

    I am also participating in this dangerous endeavor.
    It will be my first year and I am very excited yet nervous at the same time.
    You sure will have a lot on your plate!

    If you ever need a Camp NaNoWriMo buddy to toss around ideas and new characters at I would be more than happy to help any way I can.

    I often don’t finish projects either and find the idea of new ones irresistible when I am bored so I totally understand what you mean.

    I Hope you reach your goal and I hope you find new energy in “The Dreamless City” When you return to it in May.

    BTW, which one of those books you suggested to me on my Books Review Request page would you like me to do first? Any one of them is okay with me.

    Can’t wait to get one of them completed and then get the review to ya!

    ~Shane

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Ooo, good luck to you! What are you writing about?

      I would suggest Ready Player One. While it is a work of fiction, there is discussion to be had around technology, gaming, social media, and whether the 80s were as awesome as I remember them being.

      • shanesbookblog
        April 2, 2013

        Sounds awesome! I love all of those topics. I will be ordering it today and I shall have the review for you in 7 days!

        Can’t wait to start reading it,sounds exciting and it has a lot of things that I love in it.

        Technology,Gaming and social media. It shall be a joyful literary burrito!

        And for Camp NaNo it’s either going to be a Micro Memoir or a fantasy/Sci-fi book.

        Still trying to decide.

        I will make up my mind in a few hours though for sure,I don’t have a choice =p

        Thanks so much for the book suggestion, and the book review request.

        I will do my very best on it for ya. =]

        ~Shane

  7. Gus Sanchez
    April 1, 2013

    Bad ideas often lead somewhere, so why not give this bad idea a ride?

    Good luck.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Bad ideas DO lead somewhere, the question is whether or not that is where you want to go. Thanks! I need all the luck I can get.

  8. Jess
    April 1, 2013

    I love to start new things too. My friend calls it “digging holes.” I keep digging holes but not getting anywhere. I think this is a great idea. Give yourself the 30 days on your starting project, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you have to finish the “old” stuff. Good luck!

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      “Digging holes” is such a good analogy. That’s what it looks like afterwards — spending time in a place but not really achieving anything.

      I’m sure I’ll be ready for something “easy” after April is over.

  9. Paula Cappa
    April 2, 2013

    Good Luck and much success, Tracy. I admire your energy and focus. I don’t get this Nanowrimo at all. I’m going to take the opposite position here and say that from my perspective writing is not something I can force myself to do in X amount of time. I know deadlines can have a motivating aspect (and some writers really do function well with the gun to their head, so to speak), but time limits tend to paralyze my creativity. Does anyone else have that?

    My most creative ideas come when I’m totally relaxed and free and unaware of the clock. Here’s an example of a short story that took about 3 months to develop. The name Renner came to mind and I had no idea for weeks who or what it was, except that it was a story. The image of a “bird, white and running” stuck in my head for days. Gradually, as time floated by, I discovered Renner to be a man who was blind in one eye. And then his story took several more weeks (how shall I say this?) to appear to me. I polished it up (1000 words), and SmokeLong Quarterly published it.

    The only way I can truly write a story is to let it happen at its own will. I hate to tell you how long my novels take! I would fail miserably at Nanowrimo.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Congrats on getting your story published. I hope I can join the ranks of the published this summer. For now, I will content myself with my meager website offerings.

      I think that many of my stories happened like yours. It was just a kernel of a story that I carried around, then little bits and pieces were added onto it, like it was magnetic and picking up brain lint. Eventually it had enough substance to sprout and become a story.

      Once I saw it from beginning to end as a story though, I try to get it on paper as quickly as possible. Otherwise, I’ll move onto another project and the idea will fade back into the brain lint from whence it came.

      Also, writing is a solitary activity, and I like people. So NaNoWriMo gives a community of people who are in exactly the same situation as me. It helps motivate me knowing I’m not alone.. even though I know there are lots of people who are writing all the time.

  10. Katie
    April 2, 2013

    Good luck T! I’m not usually a glutton for punishment, but I signed up for it this time around.

    • tracycembor
      April 2, 2013

      Yay K! More friends are always welcome. What are you writing about?

      • Katie
        April 2, 2013

        It’s a fantasy. Basically…girl has banned magic, marries nobleman, has the hots for different nobleman, rebellion ruins her life, and she is left with….well, I haven’t gotten that far yet! Haha. I’ll be interested to see how it ends.

      • tracycembor
        April 2, 2013

        If you give her an imaginary horse, we aren’t too far apart in terms of plotline. ;) I think it sounds awesome, but I love stories with lots of trouble and conflict. I can’t wait to see how it ends either.

      • Katie
        April 2, 2013

        She will ride on a real horse at some point, I’m sure…

        I love conflict too. I want to slap her around, rip her heart out and stomp on it…and then put some band-aids on it at the end. :)

  11. pishnguyen
    April 2, 2013

    I’ve never heard about Camp NaNoWriMo. I hope you are able to meet all of your goals with your writing. Good luck!

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

Writers of the Future Honorable Mention

About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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