Shut The Hell Up And Write: A Whiner's Guide and NaNoWriMo Profile

As part of my NaNoWriMo Halo Giveaway, I offered all of the folks who signed up a chance to write a guest post for How Not To Write. I think you’ll be amazed as I was at the variety of people who have submitted posts. I know I am. I’m also proud to share their words here and I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a comment. — Jamie


Today’s post comes from Liz C.

Liz, according to her boyfriend, enjoys collecting competencies, which means that she tries new things then dumps them when she gets bored. By day she sits at a desk in front of a computer and answers tech support phone calls, which has enabled her to write probably 75-80% of her novel at work. She is enjoying her first NaNo, and when November ends, she’ll go back to writing on her five blogs and dreaming about maybe taking some writing classes before next year.

You can find her main blog at, where she whines about all sorts of things, including her 25 year old daughter and 9 year old son, neither of whom read her blog.( Although her ex-husband and boyfriend do.)

Shut The Hell Up And Write: A Whiner’s Guide

I admit it: I’m a whiner. I like to try new things, and even though in most cases I do all right, I always whine a lot about it along the way. I blame this mostly on my Protestant ancestors, the Greek chorus that sits in the back of my mind reminding me not to be boastful or get too full of myself. Whining about how hard everything is and how I am sure I am going to fail is my weak attempt at modesty. Sometimes I do fail, but most of the time I come out OK.

I blog, therefore I whine in public. As you can guess, I’ve been whining a lot lately about NaNoWriMo. It’s my first. Yeah, it’s been a challenge, but I hit 50K on the 20th and still have a shot at 75K. And I may even finish the story, although that’s still in doubt. Is it any good? Well, I think the basic premise is cool, although since I haven’t written anything remotely fiction-like since Mr. Johnson’s creative writing class over 30 years ago, I’m making quite a hash of it. But I’ve won NaNo, and that was my goal. I’ll postpone my dream of agents beating down my door until I get a clue.

In today’s blog post I complained about how everything was falling apart and how miserable I am. Then I cranked out 1600 words and went to lunch. Back at my desk, it was time to catch up on my blog reading before diving back in. I read many blogs: food blogs, humor blogs, writing blogs, and a few personal blogs.

So there’s this woman I know. I don’t know her well, although we’ve met a few times in recent years. She is funny and witty and clever and… eccentric. She has ‘deficits’, as she puts it, but she embraces them and celebrates them. They are all part of what makes her funny and witty and clever. And eccentric.

She also blogs, although ‘blog’ is a lame word for what she does. I blog; she slices off a piece of her heart and sticks it on the screen. I love to read her blog, and when a rare post from her pops up in my Google reader, I hoard it, saving it until I have read everything else, like a tiny bag of Peanut M&M’s at the bottom of the plastic Halloween pumpkin.

Today, after she blew my socks off*, she ended with this quote from Thornton Wilder:

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”

That hit me upside the head like a cold, wet sponge, causing me to completely cease whining for a good ten minutes.

I think it’s time for me to Shut The Hell Up And Write. November will be over soon enough, and then where will I be? Safe at home, whining about how I wish I was having an adventure.

* Note: That is both hyperbole and cliché. There were no actual socks blown off.

Interested in sharing your story? I’ve opened up the writer profiles section to submissions from any/all writers. Read on for “guidelines”.

3 thoughts on “Shut The Hell Up And Write: A Whiner's Guide and NaNoWriMo Profile

  1. @Liz C – quote: “Today, after she blew my socks off*, she ended with this quote from Thornton Wilder:

    “When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.” ”

    OMG this is exactly me. I think I need to frame this and hang it over next year’s Be:Do:Have list. Being present is the hardest thing for so-called *Protestants* because the harangue from the pulpit is to “keep your eyes on Heaven” (which is not where you are currently).

    Okay, I need to “shut up” and get 10K done today (and that’s not the only thing on my plate either).

    Deb´s last blog post..Fall beauties to enjoy

  2. I can identify with the Thornton Wilder quote too. In a few months I’ll wish my husband would give me all of this free time to write while right now I’m procrastinating writing my final 13,000 words. If I were smart I would finish today or tomorrow, not tell him I was done, and use all that time to catch up on writing my blog posts!

    Amber´s last blog post..Giving a Little Thanks

  3. I like that Wilder quote as well. I’ve also noticed that I tend to love telling stories about what happened during the adventure, but at the time those same stories are often just annoying problems that I wish hadn’t come up. Of course, how could an adventure be such without a few bumps and hiccups along the way?

    Tom´s last blog post..Hitting the Wall at Two Thousand Words per Hour

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