Friday, December 27, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Story Part 4

Overcoming the Obstacles

At this point many of you are wondering what my plan for productivity entailed.  It must’ve been something crazy right?  Not really.  The only crazy part was getting me to leave the house and wait for hours in the cold Michigan air for a bus to get me where I was going.  And where was I going?  Some magical refuge for down on their luck NaNoWriMo writers?  A place where said writer can do intense training in mountainous solitude to improve word count, word quality, and plotting?  Well, kinda sorta.  I just went to the library all the way downtown.  It provided me with some much needed quiet time.  I went to the most boring looking part of the library, the sociology room I think it was.­­­­­

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment