Last week’s whiny and meandering post had a lot to do with a writing funk I’ve been in. There’s so much I want to do and so little time, blah blah blah, and I found myself paralyzed. This week, however, I FOUND THE SOLUTION! (Repeat that with manic abandon. Go on, do it, you’ll feel good.)

Ever-Suffering Writer Mama: [on the phone with Homes] I did it! I FOUND THE SOLUTION!

Homes: To what?

ESWM: To my malaaaaaise. I FOUND THE SOLUTION!

Homes: By the tone of your voice, I can only guess the solution was crack.

ESWM: Hahahahaha! No! The solution is…


ESWM: [sighs] The solution is a LIST!

And Homes, bless him, didn’t even snark. He just said: Huh. It’s been awhile since you used a list.

Because he knows me.

Why did neither of us think of this? Whenever I’m bummed or in a funk, all I’ve got to do is write up a list of tasks (writing-, housework-, or exercise-related) and start working on them. As soon as I cross off the first item, it’s like MAGIC. I feel accomplished, productive, and a hundred times more beautiful.

Because I’d been paralyzed and listless (haha! Get it? That was totally an accident) and focusless in writing, I made a list of writing tasks. And because everyone else is doing NaNoWriMo but I don’t even want to try, I’m doing my own version: NaNoWhateverMo. Each of the tasks is fiction-related, some of it drafting, some of it craft-learning, and a lot of it revising. I get to work on two different projects. The tasks are small enough that I can finish them in an hour or less.

NaNoWhateverMo: Thirty Fiction Tasks in Thirty Days

  1. Do GMC (Goal-Motivation-Conflict) for TR
  2. Do plot points for TR
  3. Re-map ATRS with index cards (um, already started this one. It takes WAY longer than an hour. Days.)
  4. Write synopsis of TR
  5. Rewrite opening of ATRS
  6. Maass workbook exercise on character for TR
  7. Freewrite how to make big moments bigger for ATRS
  8. Rewrite a big moment for ATRS
  9. Maass workbook exercise for ATRS
  10.  Rewrite another big moment for ATRS
  11. Write scene for TR
  12. Write scene for TR
  13. 3 pages freewriting on TR
  14. Put new structure for ATRS in Scrivener
  15. Write new scene for ATRS
  16. Brainstorm new ATRS ending ideas
  17. Rewrite a big moment in ATRS
  18. Maass workbook exercise for ATRS
  19. Maass workbook exercise for TR
  20. Write scene for TR
  21. Write scene for TR
  22. Scene/character chart for Jameson
  23. Read how-to chapter on synopses
  24. Write ATRS synopsis
  25. Write new ATRS scene
  26. Write scene for TR
  27. Maass workbook exercise for TR
  28. Write scene for TR
  29. Rewrite a big moment in ATRS
  30. Add Maass exercise stuff to ATRS Scrivener file

I’ll try to post progress on Twitter…but notice social networking is NOT on the list. With limited time, we’ve got to prioritize, and writing wins. Anyone else skittish about NaNoWriMo and wanting to commit to something a little less intense?


  1. readingisdelicious · November 2, 2012

    Hooray for lists! Ganbatte!

    • Beth Hull · November 2, 2012

      I had to Google “ganbatte.” Cool word, thank you!

  2. thegracefuldoe · November 2, 2012

    That’s an awesome idea! I’ve been in the same writing funk as you for months (probably something to do with the babies and exhaustion, right?!) I’m doing PiBoIdMo, which is Picture Book Idea Month. I figure if I’m not getting time to write, I can at least build up an idea back. I applaud you for getting back into novel stuff.

    • Beth Hull · November 2, 2012

      Yes, Jo! 50,000 words is just too much with the baby, and the big sister, and Life In General. But coming up with an idea a day, or writing out a short scene, or brainstorming plot points…doable.

  3. Sean (^H) · November 2, 2012

    NaNoWriMo is error. I get what it’s supposed to be; I never could do that, though. Keeping up with diary+blog is enough.

    • Beth Hull · November 2, 2012

      I think NaNoWriMo would be a lot of fun, but it’s something I’d have to try when my kids are both in school. Or I’d have to try it when I’m in a better frame of mind & the baby’s taking at least one longish nap. Or whenever I run out of excuses. 🙂 You’re right, though, a diary+blog is time-consuming on its own.

  4. Maggie · November 2, 2012

    I like your list! Good luck!

  5. PB Rippey · November 5, 2012

    That is one heck of a list!!! (tr. you have terrified me). But I’m going to give a list a shot. It’s a great idea. You are brilliant (w/gophers). PS. I want my gopher T-shirt. In your spare time—etsy shoppe?

    • Beth Hull · November 5, 2012

      Yay! I’m glad you’ll do it too, PB! We will be amazed at our Extreme Productivity of Awesomeness.

      I wonder how hard it is to get a shirt printed with a jpeg file…If I finish the synopsis I’m working on, I’ll look into that tonight.

  6. Alice · November 6, 2012

    Oh wow, so organised! That is one impressive list. I hope it helps. =)

    • Beth Hull · November 7, 2012

      So far so good, Alice, thanks! I’d been all-over-the-place & indecisive, and having it already set up in front of me, in specific small tasks, has really been helping.

  7. Vicki Tremper · November 7, 2012

    What a great idea! And it doesn’t have to be November. I like lists, too. I am, however, attempting NaNoWriMo this year (for the 2nd year in a row), and it’s going fine so far. I took most of August and September off from writing and blogging to focus on real life and it helped me get through my own writing funk. Good luck!

    • Beth Hull · November 7, 2012

      You’re right, Vicki. If NaNoWhateverMo continues to go as well as it’s going, I plan to keep on with the list.

      Good luck to you with NaNoWriMo! One of these years I’m going to do it – it sounds like a lot of fun!

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