My Personal Middle Earth – NaNoWriMo Day 13


So I just read today’s Week Two Pep Talk from Maureen Johnson, and I gotta tell ya, it really made me smile. (The tie-in here being we all know LoTR was filmed in New Zealand. Which is, you know, really close to Australia.)

I’m definitely wandering aimlessly through something, whether it’s the Bog of Eternal Stench (and I have a feeling it just might be, and yes I know that’s not in LoTR. It’s from The Labyrinth) or traipsing across the plains of Rohan chasing…something, although probably not Orcs, I’m in deep at this point. I loved Johnson’s imagery of stumbling across old campfires of those who have gone before. Surely there’s something in the ashes to indicate what’s edible out here in the wastelands, and later we can look for footprints to see which way they went and then go a different way. And here’s another very cool map of Middle Earth, somehow combined with GoogleMaps so it’s interactive.

But the best thing is the sheer vastness of the territory to be covered. Seriously, how can you not get excited with all those possibilities just waiting for you? It’s so big that I could make this journey a thousand times and never go the same way twice. I’m not bogged down, I’m footloose and fancy free. I’m On the Road like Kerouac. And I don’t even like camping!

11 thoughts on “My Personal Middle Earth – NaNoWriMo Day 13

  1. I had a couple of tough writing days. Forced myself to BIC and now I’m feeling that enthusiasm again. Realizing and accepting that there is always going to be difficult moments during any WIP is one of the best lessons I’ve learned in the last year.


  2. Good for you, Tasha! It’s hard slogging through those moments when even cleaning out the cat box sounds like a better idea. I have to keep reminding myself of that Henry Miller quote:

    Back of every creation, supporting it like an arch, is faith. Enthusiasm is nothing: it comes and goes. But if one believes, then miracles occur.

    particularly the “enthusiasm is nothing, it comes and goes” part. If it’s just a thorny scene that resists being written, sometimes I skip ahead to another scene that’s ready and come back to the problem child later.


  3. Oh, what a great quote! And it’s so true about enthusiasm coming and going. A couple of years ago, I was the typical amateur writer who waited to be “in the mood” to write. It is that faith, that discipline of BIC that makes a world of difference.


  4. DD and Gypsyscarlett — your comments are pure serendipity! I was just ruminating that my word count is nowhere near what it should be, but the discipline of sitting every day has made it more real that anything I’ve ever tried in the past. I haven’t gone back and re-read anything I’ve written so maybe I’m kidding myself, but something is happening to me. It’s been a great experience in a whole mess of ways. Thanks again for opening up the idea for me.

    (but I don’t know what BIC means… “being in character?” or “butt in chair?”


  5. Hiya Rosie!

    I am so glad you’re enjoying trying your hand at this. I know it changed my writing habits, and my attitude about my writing, forever. It quit being “someday” and became “everyday!” Don’t take the time to re-read anything unless you have to (like if you forgot if your characters are outdoors or indoors, or which continent they’re on 😉 ) There’s plenty of time for that later, after you get the words down.

    I usually say PBIC (Plant Butt In Chair). 🙂

    I missed the weekly write-in today, still feeling ‘puny’ as my friend Diane used to say. Have to try to make up the word count on my own.


  6. I love the imagery of the journey. I’m behind too but I’m really enjoying the writing and where the book is taking me. Which is to places I hadn’t even imagined. I’m so glad you are enjoying it too. 🙂

    I have to say the first time I did NaNo it really changed things for me writing-wise. I knew I could not only write (and do it while working full-time) but I could get 50,000 words done in a month. Before then I had been pretty much meaning to write but not really settling down to do it.

    I don’t always shoot for 50,000 a month in my non-NaNo writing but I know I can do it because I did it. Twice!

    I may not make it this year but I feel pretty confident I’ll have a good, solid draft I can work with in December and beyond.

    Write on!


  7. Excellent, Jenna. With everything else you’ve got going on I’m amazed that you even took on the challenge of NaNo this year. I guess it’s true what they say about the busier you are, the more you CAN get done 🙂

    I don’t know about the rest of you folks, but I find it a little demoralizing when I see there are people who hit 50K over this past weekend. 😦 I feel like I’m hitting the skids here, barely got 1000 words yesterday. And yes, I’ve been under the weather, but NaNo waits for no virus.


    1. Maybe I’m saying this to justify my own scanty word count, but I always tell my students that there’s no point in competing with anybody but yourself. I love the fact that NaNo’s proposed 50K makes it real for all of us, but who’s to say that 1,000 words for you, with a FT job and a chest cold, isn’t actually more impressive than somebody with a part-time job, or a tiny short commute, feeling fit and healthy, cranking out 50K already? You’re both supa-real, and as I’ve said in the past, it’s all valid and it all matters. Go on with your bad self, Buddy!


      1. Good advice. The dash to the 50K line is fun, but you’re right, we only compete against ourselves. I’m doing better than last year already, so that’s some success right there. And I’m still in the game this year! I think it was right around the mid-point last year that I did the crash-n-burn maneuver.

        So, ok, back to it! 🙂


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