Author: Helen M. Pugsley

Helen M. Pugsley comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. They have been passionate about writing since they were small. Helen has been working on The Gishlan Series since she was 14, and 'The Tooth Fairy' was a pleasant side effect of surviving a global pandemic.

Don’t Get Burnt Out!

I love music. I love to sing, I play the trumpet, and I love to listen to music. Right now, as I write this I’m listening to some 60’s pop while downloading the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby (2013). I probably use my stereo more than I do my TV.

To be perfectly honest, I’m quite mean to myself in the mornings. Sometimes I feel the need to remind myself that I could have been a great musician. But no. I chose the life I lead now. A librarian who writes books. I have played my trumpet until my lips swelled so much that when I puckered them I could touch the tip of my nose. I’ve made people cry with the beauty my singing. It was that one song I worked and worked at. But you know what the problem was? I got burnt out.

I had the opportunity to surround myself with professional musicians as a teenager. Yes,

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people who were able to put food on the table with music. They helped shape me into the talented musician I was. But you know what happens when you play yourself the same song 20 times in a row? You memorize it. The next 200 times you begin to hate it. Then the next 200 times you fall so deeply in love with the song it becomes part of you. Then suddenly it’s the night of the concert.

That’s my concern with NaNoWriMo. I chose to become a writer because writing is the one thing that put the fire in my blood like I was told playing music should. I have had both the opportunity to try to make a living from music and a living from writing. I do not regret those times but I’ve learned firsthand how easy it is to hate what you once loved. What you once lived for. Don’t sacrifice your passion for a word count. Be gentle with yourself this annual holiday and don’t get burnt out.

 

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

The NaNo Rebel

I don’t like NaNoWriMo much. I go through this same cycle every year! I promise myself every year I’m going to write a novel in a month. Maybe not 50,000 words, but a novel!

After the success of my debut novel, War and Chess, and quitting my job to become a full time author the pressure was on! This November 1st, once again, I fired up my NaNoWriMo account. (I’ve been playing this game since 2013)

Nano RebelI wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I was working on two projects. One, I am writing the first draft. If I weren’t a NaNoWriMo rebel that would have been the novel I worked on. But I like writing first drafts with pen and paper. Drafts that you can take to the mountains without worrying about it dying, as electronics are bound to do.

My second project was typing up some old stories I think might be promising as a new publication. That second project is what I chose to report to NaNoWriMo’s website. It was a lot easier than counting the words I write on paper by hand. Really, I just needed some accountability. Someone to email me when I’m making whimpy excuses about how long hours typing makes my back SCREAM. But yet, somehow, I was just fine spending most of the morning on Facebook drinking coffee…

So I was already being a rebel by not creating something new. Just making sure something great was backed up, which is my least favorite job. I wound up getting 2/3rds of the way finished with this project! I was at an awe inspiring 10,000 words by December 1st. Yeah, I didn’t join my brethren in sleep deprivation, stress, or trying to remember that when great Aunt Bessy asks you, “Have you found a man yet?” you keep your decorum and smile.

I stayed true to my nature and stayed a rebel for yet another NaNo year. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be prancing around downtown in my leather jacket Christmas shopping.

 

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!