It’s only November 25th and I’m waving the white flag. I surrender to you NaNo. You beat me again. But I’m not beating myself up. I have 37,195 words towards a new project that I didn’t have twenty five days ago. A project that is far from perfect but definitely workable. So why am I beaten but not beat? In taking part in NaNoWriMo this year actually taught me a lot about myself as a writer and that can only be a good thing. So what did I learn?
I need to learn to trust my gut instinct
Going into NaNo you may remember I was tossing up between two story ideas. Well, turns out I picked the wrong one. All throughout the month my thoughts were elsewhere, with other characters that were in a different story. The story I was working on was neglected, the characters were left wooden and simply, my heart was elsewhere. I need to trust myself and listen to that gnawing in my brain.
I find it hard to edit and write at the same time
Not only did I choose the wrong story, but my mind was still with the characters in my finished manuscript that I am a quarter of the way through editing. Late at night my mind wandered back to these characters and the holes in my plot that need attention. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough reserve in the tank to attempt editing and participating in NaNo. All I want to do now is get stuck back into my editing.
Now in a perfect world writers would spend every waking moment on a story until it was perfect, but it doesn’t work like that. I need to learn to edit and write at the same time and this is clearly something that I need to work on!
I miss blogging
Spitting out 1,667 words each day doesn’t sound a lot but finding the time in between um… life [insert all my necessary daily chores here…oh and work… and family], leaves one exhausted and craving sleep by the end of the day (or early hours of the morning as it may be). I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed pulling apart my subconscious mind and laying it out on my blog. I’ve missed blogging about inane, useless information and clearing my mind of the clutter that such life brings. Blogging is a creative release very different to writing fiction but as I have learned one that is necessary to keep me sane.
Writing is hard, writing is addictive
This is nothing knew. I already knew this but each and every day I sit down to write it slaps me in the face. I have a rather masochistic relationship with writing. As much as it tears me to pieces, drags me around the floor and emotionally drains me, I love it. I couldn’t not write. I am. I write. I write. I am.
The learning curve this year’s NaNo has taken me on I believe has been an important one. One that will make me a better writer and one that has helped me understand and appreciate the writer in me.
So I’m not beating myself up at all. And there’s still five days… who knows… I may just have a few thousand words in me. 😉