Got A Monkey On Your Back

Well, happy November 1st everyone! When I worked for the parish government, we had this day off because it’s All Saints Day. It was lovely. It should be All New Orleans Saints Day since we won last night, but that’s another story.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I’d like to announce the winner of a book by Shelley Munro! Drumroll please….The winner is….Melinda Pierce! Melinda, e-mail me at so we can hook you up with Shelley to claim your prize. I’d like to once again thank Shelley for honoring us with her interview and thank everyone who participated! It was a wonderful end to October Horror month.

Now for November. Last week, Lynn Rush scared me by asking what my theme would be for this month. Er, well, I don’t really plan to have a theme, but with NaNoWriMo underway, I’ve decided that at least once a week, we’ll talk about NaNo’ing and progress.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate or not. I did last year and won. It felt wonderful. The story I wrote was…well, it’s not that great, but at least it let me get a particular character out of my head. I know I can do it since I wrote an 80k manuscript in September. Yes, between September 10 and September 30, I wrote my latest work, Tie Him Up. I know I can do the same again this month.

Yet, isn’t there a fear that you won’t finish? Knowing you have a goal to meet (even if it’s just something between you and your peers) leaves you with the feeling that you should write constantly. It’s like having a monkey on your back. When you’re doing something that doesn’t pertain to writing, you can still feel that knowledge creeping up on you. It’s…well, it’s sort of like this:

Mia was sweet enough to pose for this picture. She has a monkey on her back and you can see the confusion in her face. Of course, that might have had more to do with the fact that she’d just been playing with her stolen monkey (yes, she stole it from my sister’s dog years ago) and suddenly it was on her back. Doesn’t her face just scream, “Mom, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

I like to think NaNo is the same. You write, you ponder, you write some more, but there are times when you need to step back from it. 50k words in a month is no small feat and it can be overwhelming. I suspect it’s even worse for people who plot every part of their story down to the smallest detail. Me? I don’t plot. I’ve tried but I get bogged down by insignificant details. For pantsters, it’s probably a little more, well normal. I’m not sure. But the purpose of NaNo is to just toss the words out there and then clean up later.

Since I was a notorious write, re-write, write, re-write until I was sick of the story writer, NaNo helped me move past that habit. Oh sure, I do still go back and rewrite the beginning of the story, but that’s only if I’ve found myself with a problem that needs to be resolved before I can finish it.

So if you’re NaNo’ing this month, look for me! I’m listed as psychojawea (a nickname I was given in college). We can bemoan our insanity together.


Filed under contest, Writing

9 responses to “Got A Monkey On Your Back

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Got A Monkey On Your Back « Unearthly Musings --

  2. LOL! NaNo check-ins sounds great. Love that Monkey On Your Back picture! That’s awesome.

    Yeah, there are some nerves associated with being public about the goal of 50k in a month…but all the writers are so friendly and supportive, it’s worth the risk. 🙂

    Write on, my friend! I’m off to the site to add you as a buddy. I’m LynnRush on there. . .

    • Thank you, my puppy was not happy with me because she thought we were supposed to be playing with the monkey, not wearing it.

      Yay! It’ll be fun to have more friends to compare with!

  3. I’m in- got a late start as I had court all morning. Got to write at lunch- did 574- it was hard as it was the first sentence- as a fellow pantser, you know that first sentence can be a killer!
    and now I have a headache as I whcked my noggin on the trunk of my car after lunch.

    Love the monkey on the back, too. I have you already as a buddy form last year. Have to admit I forgot it was you! LOL! I’m sfcatty of course.

    • Ouch! Your poor head! You should be more careful with it. Oh yeah, I actually took what I’d started writing on book 2 of this series, chopped out the whole beginning and started with a very coarse question. Tee-hee! I love writing!

  4. I’m not doing Nano this year b/c I do have some deadlines to get to. Last year my nano book did get picked up so I had some great success with nano. Goodl luck!! I loved it b/c it made me excited and want to reach the goal.
    LOVE the picture~ I have two of those grey creatures.

  5. I got here via your Facebook because I was looking for some info regarding whether New Orleanians say “couch” or “sofa” for my NaNo story, and I stumbled across some of your forum posts! XD Maybe you can answer my question. Do people in Louisianna say “couch” or “sofa?” D:

    And speaking of monkeys on the backs of other animals:

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