NaNoWriMo – Day 9

With a daily deadline and paying no attention to editing, I’ve noticed writing seventeen hundred words a day does not take that long.

The realization that we can reasonably write this way daily is humbling. There’s no reason, that would keep us from writing this much, except that we don’t have that realization yet.

Even on a busy schedule, writing five-hundred words per day is more than reasonable. That’s thirty-five hundred words in seven days. In two weeks, you have a short story or novelette. Editing can come later. We have to let it stew anyway to gain distance from the story.

Part of this intense writing process is that dawning noesis that not writing has been an excuse. We tell ourselves we’re letting it simmer in our brains. We’re allowing the ideas to brew, then at just the right time, we’ll spill it all out on to the page.

I don’t know if that’s self-delusion or just laziness.

I do know that writing is work. Keeping the flow going can be difficult, but I’ll tell you this, it’s better than waiting tables. It’s better than customer service work and it’s much better than cleaning toilets. I have done all of that and hope never to do it again.

One of the exercises that really helped me, was the word war. I and a writing buddy used fifteen minute increments to write as much as we could within that time frame. Each time, I came out with a bit over 350 words. We did this twice in one night and in less than an hour I had written more than 700 words.

It can be done.

It’s not so much a competition as the time line we have to work with. We know if we tap out the more than 1700 words per day we’ll accomplish a short novel.

We’ll have accomplished something that some people cannot complete in a lifetime.

Despite how crazy it seems to attempt fifty-thousand words in a month, it’s a great educational tool for writers. It pushes us to our limits, breaks down barriers and allows us to see what we really are capable of.

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3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo – Day 9

  1. Inspiring piece. This translates well for any type of writer (or artist for that matter), even blogging. Sometimes we think that we won’t be able to write that next piece, but if we could write those 350 to 700….to 50,000 words! we could have a few blog pieces. Like you said, it may be better to write as a stream of consciousness, with no editing or censoring. Editing can come later, in post production. Just get the ideas down on paper…on the outside of you.

    Very good advice, thank you. 🙂

  2. Sometimes, writer’s block is real, and you have to step back to sort things out. Most times, though, it’s not so much a block as a fork. You’ve got so many possibilities set out before you that you can’t isolate a single coherent idea. BUT…. I can say from experience, it often helps to just sit and re-read the last few pages leading up to the block/fork. It might not kick in at first, but once you get a feel for which path you should take, start putting down words. They’ll eventually flow smoothly. Might not be until the next session, but once you’ve taken a step down your path of choice, it’s a lot easier to bring the rest of the road into focus between sessions.

  3. Thank you Niko. It’s a different way of writing for me, but I find it works. @EA: There are quite a few people who say writer’s block is an excuse to procrastinate. I’ve read a little about it and for myself I find it takes working through the anxiety. For years I had severe anxiety and realized it was keeping me from so many things I love; including writing.

    I read somewhere that Charles Shultz had this, believing his work was inferior. Fear. I think fearing that our ideas are foolish or our work is less than what it should be keeps us from experimenting and working through to something better.

    The fork in the road… oh yes. The Great Fork. I know it well. 🙂

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