Overcoming the Obstacles
In the library I had no choice but to write, write, write. I did this for hours on end. I sat at a table away from mostly everyone. It took a while to warm up and get back into the world but it did happen and when it did the words were flowing. It was still crap, I thought anyway but I figured I could change it all when the contest was over. I settled for changing my whole writing/editing process up just for this book, just for this contest. I knew that there was plenty of gold buried under all the crappy words I was writing and I figured that later I’d just mine that gold for ideas and improve the structure around it. It was the most obvious way to do this and quite a few of the NaNo pep talks even said this so I can’t even tell you why it took me so long to actually adopt this process. It’s most likely because I’m a creature of habit especially concerning my writing.
Slowly I worked on releasing myself from the shackles of my process. It was mostly psychological. I’d leave sentences and word choices that I didn’t like in, even though they bugged me. Soon I was telling myself that I would change it later when I copied it into the computer. Eventually this encompassed even whole ideas that took up most of a chapter. I now felt that I could definitely change it later or even pull from each and every wretched idea that I left on the paper and wanted to change. I was now able to write crap and move on which is a very powerful talent or in my case, becoming a powerful learned skill.
The library helped rejuvenate me and really boosted my word count. The first day I didn’t get as much as I wanted (a lofty 10,000 words). I never managed to hit my target on my trips but was steadily adding large increments to my overall word count and the truth was that a lot of the writing was really good. I knew I was too hard on myself after I’d copy a chapter down into my computer and read through it. My inner editor had almost killed the contest for me with all this slow methodical nonsense. Though I couldn’t get rid of the bastard it did feel good to shut him up every so often so that I could unleash the full fury of rapid production. Now I was in it to win it – hell – I knew I was going to win it. I had just a week left and had only just hit the halfway mark but I felt that I could really do this with one more push especially with all I had learned. It’s crazy how much had changed in just a week.
Maybe my confidence was misplaced. I still wasn’t finished and though I had boosted my word count, that 50,000 mark was still a long ways away. Why the heck was I so confident? And what if—just what if—I had somehow reverted back to my production levels of weeks previous. There was still a lot to be uncertain of with a week left.