Nearly forty-five thousand words (45K), and almost finished with the NaNoWriMo challenge. I will probably finish tomorrow.
It has been a good run, but I don’t know that I’d participate in this challenge again. The accomplishment is a great feeling, but it’s tough keeping up the pace. Life gets in the way and makes its own demands on us.
At one point, after I moved, I had to write more than two thousand a day to catch up. I was writing in a morning session, then writing again in the evening. The problem was that most of the material I wrote, I left as is. I did not go back to edit and even using a wrong word here or there, I left it. Or I would just throw in a word when I could not think of the right one.
The finish line is right there in front of me. All I have to do is make a break for it. Which is what I’m doing over the next two days. Five thousand more words and I’ll be done with this part of the story.
The extra great thing (kind of a prize): Amazon is making offers to NaNo winners. Some pretty awesome deals.
After the challenge I’m taking a couple days off. Then next week I’ll finish writing Nexus. The editing process will go through December and possibly January. I hope to have it ready for publication by March.
On the other side of all this, I’ve learned quite a bit this month. Here are a few lessons I’ve come away with.
1. Accomplishment in and of itself, is not as sweet as we imagine it to be. We scramble over obstacles, make it to the finish line, then what? What comes next?
2. To sit and force oneself to do the work necessary is a learned process. To sit in front of the computer and tap out fifty-thousand words, all strung together by one idea does not come naturally.
3. Choosing to be a writer is akin to choosing a philosopher’s life. You learn to think, but it can be torturing, isolating and your ego takes a regular battering.
4. Visual aids help. There are scenes in the novel I’m writing in which I could not picture the characters. I had to sketch the scene as I wanted to imagine it and the visual aid worked. I was able to not only describe the scene once I viewed it, I moved the characters around with no problem.
5. You do whatever is necessary to complete the story. Talk to your characters, interrogate yourself ruthlessly, sketch, make notes, write. Doing the work is the accomplishment. Finishing that great scene, you know you’re going to keep is a feeling worth holding on to.
Unrelated photo of the day/week/month. (Something I wanted to share.)
Meditation: Our place in the universe is not fixed.