Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNo Update

It's amazing. Ten days into National Novel Writing Month, and I'm still within spitting distance of being on schedule. In fact, until yesterday, I was actually over my word count, and I expect to get back to that level again this weekend. While I have actually managed to complete the challenge before (in 2009), this is still a minor miracle for me. What's even more important (and unbelievable) is that I'm still enjoying what I'm writing.

I've spoken at length already about the Novel-We-Speak-Not-Of and how, even though I technically won NaNoWriMo, I felt like I lost. Well, this year's been different so far. I'm doing a couple things differently. I already explained that I'm working on three different novels and possibly some short stories (I also count these blog posts... anything that involves words being written on a page). However, I've found myself focusing on Rosetta a lot in the past week, and I think this is still working because I've planned a lot more of this story than the NWSNO. Also, I don't expect to finish it this month. Removing the pressure is key.

This is actually doing something quite lovely for me: it's reminding me why I want to write in the first place. I know there are a lot of writers who have a love/hate relationship with the actual writing process. I think any task which asks you to put a piece of yourself into it can cause that type of reaction. But for awhile I was only writing because I felt like I ought to. Vaguely, I remembered it was something I liked to do, but it wasn't calling up the same feelings as before. It's been ages since I've reached anywhere near the middle of a story.

I just finished chapter 8 of Rosetta. This is maybe a little less than 1/4 of the book, and it's just now starting to get past the basic introduction and into the main plot. I just introduced Eli, a character whose very presence apparently makes all scenes flow better. And suddenly I went from really struggling to write anything coherent or worthwhile in chapters 5 and 6 to writing my favorite chapter to date in chapter 8.

I feel like I spend a lot of time talking about how I'm finally optimistic about my writing, but this seems to be more than that. I sit down every night to hit my word count and I'm not thinking about the millions of other things I could be doing. I don't turn on reruns of Boy Meets World to procrastinate. I don't even need to be on AIM with a few friends to break up the whole writing process. I wrote for a half hour while on my lunch break today just because I wanted to. It's a lot like being back in high school and carrying my notebook everywhere on the off-chance I had a few minutes to write... just because I liked it. Except now my notebook is Google Docs.

Anyway, this is a fairly meaningless blog post in the scheme of things, but I felt good about what I was doing so far and wanted to share. I hope NaNoWriMo is going well for everyone else, and I'm looking forward to seeing other's results.

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