So I’ve now broken the 10,000 word mark with Nanowrimo, and it’s been quite a tricky feat. November and December are traditionally our busiest months with the store, and this year has been no exception. While I’m glad business is picking up from a somewhat slow October, I also know that from next week on, my life will be one ginormous workload.
It bothers me that I’m only up to 10,700 words during the lightest part of an uber busy month. I don’t know how I’ll find the time to finish, but at this point, it’s become a Personal Challenge to finish. I won’t get glory, fame, or fortune, but I’ve never backed down from a Personal Challenge and I’m not about to start now. (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s like once something clicks in my brain, I’m driven to finish it no matter what… it’s getting it to click in the first place that’s the tricky part).
I had some difficulties with writers block earlier today, but one of the best pieces of advice from the nanowrimo staff was to just write something. So I flipped over to a blank page, and just wrote a little bit about my characters. I was finding it hard to keep track of them all anyway, and character development is not my strong suit. As I wrote about them, I could picture each one clearly in my mind, and it really helped sort it all out in my brain. I also started writing a brief synopsis of the plot, then realized I didn’t necessarily want to know. That’s been my goal this time around - to not have things neatly planned out, but to let them unfold naturally. So instead of hashing out the rest of the plot, I returned to my work in progress, refreshed and excited to see what happens next. I also went back in and filled in some character holes to give my people a little more depth now that I had a better idea of who they are.
I am fully aware that this whole thing is not about the end result (I have a feeling that at the end, I will have another steaming pile of crap to add to my collection) but completely about the process. I feel like it’s not only making me a better writer, it’s giving me the discipline to sit down and write every single day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. It’s making me excited about writing again, when the thought of putting fiction down on paper quite frankly made me want to vomit. It’s giving me hope that someday I might do this full time. Okay, I’d still like to continue to eat, so maybe not so much that last one… but it definitely has given me my creativity back.
One other thing that I think is cool (and that I hadn’t really counted on) is the effect it’s having on my daughter. She has been writing and illustrating stories since she was 4 years old, some of which are hilarious and surprisingly insightful. She would see me writing, and start writing her own stuff… but she would also pick up 2 bad habits of mine; 1) my lack of dedication to finish my stories, and 2) my own harsh self-criticism and perfectionistic nature. It really bothers me when I ask to read something she’s written and she reluctantly hands it over and says “well, it’s not very good. I don’t like it very much.” or “I’m not a very good writer, why do you want to read this?” So Nanowrimo has taught me to finish what you start, and quit worrying about how good it is. If it’s crappy, it’s crappy, but at least it was worth the ride. I hope I can instill that in her before it’s too late and she decides otherwise.
1/5 of the way done and looking forward to the future. If anyone is still up for the challenge, I don’t think it’s too late to get started, as long as you’ll have some time in the foreseeable future to get caught up. If you do pick it up - good luck to you!