Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Write Away!

Um, wasn't it just Sunday like two hours ago?  These past few days really flew by!  It's already ROW80 check-in day.  Have I actually done anything to report?  Hope so...

I've been getting some writing done, but getting started each day has been a monumental struggle.  I spend more time wrestling with myself to get myself settled down and actually writing than I do getting the words down.  If I could find some way to get my mind more disciplined, I imagine how much I could get done every day.  So far, none of the standard mind training tricks seems to work for me, but I will keep trying.  Really, it takes me about an hour to write around 2,000 words.  But especially this last week I spend several hours leading up to the actual writing struggling to get myself to sit down and do it.

Some of the reason it's been especially hard getting started this past week is that I'm seeing that something is missing from my story.  I'm not quite sure what it is or how to figure it out just yet, and I'm not willing to let myself drift back into planning right now.  I'm really worried that once November is over and I don't have the impetus of NaNoWriMo driving me forward, I will lose my momentum and once again not get to the end of my novel.  So I'm going to just keep going with what I have, keep pushing forward and try to get to some sort of ending even if it's something that will need a lot of revision later.

It's not all bad news around here.  Really, I don't consider any of what I just wrote to be bad news.  I'm seeing a pattern of struggling with beginning, so that gives me something to look at and work on. I'm also seeing that making space for planning sessions in between writing sessions might be a really good thing for me to help me know exactly what I want to write next.

I'm also seeing that  my natural writing rhythm seems to be bursts of intense writing for a few thousand words, but not necessarily every day.  This means that my plan to write 5,000 words a week after November is probably going to work really well.  I suspect that I will end up writing 1,500-2,000 words a day a few days a week.  This won't mean that I'm not working on my story on the non-writing days, though.  Right now when I'm not writing, I find that I have the story in my head almost continuously.  I come up with bits of dialogue, a new scene to add in, a reworking of a scene I already planned, etc.

I think my natural rhythm is going to be bouts of writing interspersed with bouts of planning and maybe even some light revision.  This feels like something that will work well for me, so this is how I'm going to do things in December at least to see how it feels.  I'm not going to do it right now, because I'm so close that I'm not willing to give up on hitting 50K in November to try this new process, though, so I am going to keep pushing the write every day thing just now to get that NaNo win.

I need to add in or change a few other things, too.  First, I've adjusted my word goal to 80,000.  I can tell that I won't reach the end of the story even as a rough draft in 65,000 words.  80K is seeming much more reasonable.

I also need to work on better eating for energy and general clear headedness and feeling good--I have slipped into junk food because of the ease of getting it and being done with it quickly.  And I need to add in some movement, preferably something I can do any time (especially 8 or 9 p.m. when I get a sudden desire to exercise), and preferably something mindless that will let my thoughts wander and play with story bits while I'm exercising.  I will be actively working on ways to integrate all of this into my writing life, so there will probably be food and exercise updates sneaking into my ROW80 updates from now on.

That's everything I've figured out lately.  I'm looking forward to December so I can start playing with some of these new ideas.  But before that I'm looking forward to getting lots and lots of words over the next week so I can get one of those fancy winner badges for my blog!


Raymond Frazee said...

I found that I'm still writing about 3000 a day, but I'm so taking my time--doing it in little groups, and thinking about what I'm doing. Of course I have the luxury of being well over 50k, but right now it's about getting what I want done the right way. Keep writing, writing, writing . . . you'll finish!

Lesann Berry said...

Isn't it wonderful when you start to figure out what works for you...and what doesn't? I think Row80 and Nanowrimo are excellent exercises to help us find the path that is right for us.

I can relate to the "something" is missing idea. I found myself thinking that early on and sure enough, little by little those cloudy areas have begun to solidify into residual characters and settings. Actually, I really enjoy that part - the outline is great but being flexible with the story elements as they grow is so much fun!

Sounds like you've made great process in only a few short weeks.

Julia Indigo said...

Lovely post, and I'm with you, it's great to figure out what works for *you*, vs. what someone else recommends. In my case, I would love to get to 2K/hour! Soon, perhaps.

Juliana said...

Oh, the struggle to sit down and start hammering on the keyboard ... I know that very well ...
Once I'm writing, I write fast, like you, but to actually start is like a long process lol
Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I know that feeling--something is missing from my story. It takes a lot of time and pondering to figure out the extra special ingredient that not only complements the plot, but gives me a spark to keep writing and making the manuscript work.

I'm also looking forward to next week, when the new month starts.

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