Monday, November 13, 2006

A lesson from Nano

This was a bad writing weekend. Real life just kept bidding for all my time (don't you hate when that happens.)

I only wrote 1k the entire weekend, and that was at (surprise surprise, you guessed it,) a write in. On that note, I did host a successful write-in on Sunday, and everyone who attended left with a decent wordcount for that short block of time. What made this one work when the others didn't? I have no clue. Maybe it was that I had a different set of people, or the fact I worked really hard on keeping my mouth shut.

So, to make up for the busy weekend, I chained myself to the computer today. Doing so would probably be more productive if I didn't have the internet to distract me, but I actually managed to keep the surfing to a minimum as I tried to work. I broke thirty thousand, which was the minimum goal I set for myself today, but that's only 4k words, and I really did work all day.

The sad part? The first 1k or so of today’s word count was like pulling teeth and took me about four hours. The last 3k I pounded out in about the same amount of time. I guess I needed to cross that first 1k I was struggling with to reach the downhill ride of inspiration.

If nothing else, today was a lesson to myself in pounding it out. In the past, if my muse fought me this hard, I sentenced myself to one full hour chained to the computer, and if it didn’t get better, I left it for the day. This habit, I reasoned, was much more productive than waiting for inspiration to hit like I did in college. Nano teaches me something new each year. Last year it taught me that writing everyday kept me excited about a project and got it finished. This year (so far) I’ve learned that sometimes one hour isn’t enough if I really want to get past writers-block fast.

Are you Nano’ing? (Or noveling?) Have you learned anything important about yourself and your writing needs in the process?

Current Progress:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,131 / 95,000


Diana Peterfreund said...

Right now, I htink the main thing I'm learning is that I burn out. I was doing well until recently, and now I've kind of hit a wall...

fred charles said...

Well, I'm sad to report that I'm yet another Nano casualty for the pile.

I didn't want to give up but the story just didn't work and I can't write something that I've lost interest in. I might was well have just wrote the words "blah blah" over and over until I hit 50K.

What I learned is that I will never start a novel without proper planning. The other thing I learned is that if I do have proper planning, I can write like lightning. My Nano story died the moment my outline ran out.

Good luck to you, I will still be here to cheer you on!

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

Hey Diana: I think it is wall week. For days now, every time I sit down I struggle with my story anew (and some days I don't have hours upon hours to give it.)

Sorry to hear that Fred! At least you can say you tried and you took something away from the experience. How about that other story you were considering. Didn't you write an outline for it? I know the rules say 50k on one project, but you could start the other novel and add the word counts together. That way you will have still written 50k in the month... (Can't be worse than those people who senselessly pad their wordcount)