NaNo thus Far ~ Whose Idea Was This Anyhow?

Does anyone reading this not know I suffer from rewriteritiss? Well, I do. And for those who don’t know, rewriteritiss is a condition caused by an over-active internal editor with a thirst for perfection and no off switch. Point in case, I just reworked the last half of that sentence three times before moving on to this one. Rewriteritiss is why I tend to be a slow writer. It’s hard to crank out the words when each one of them must be carefully scrutinized prior to moving on. I can rework a sentence for the better part of five minutes and then, later, go back and tweak it some more.

Enter NaNoWriMo.

I wrote about some of my reasons for going into it in my last post. I knew it would be a challenge and boy-howdy, is it! I feel a bit like this…

Actually, I feel a lot like that, and I’m pretty sure that’s the same expression I wear. Minus the facial hair.

NaNo is all about getting those 50,000 words down by November 30. It doesn’t matter if they’re good words, wrong words, right words, bad words, it just wants words. It’s a bit like our new kitten at feeding time. He just wants his food NOW, and if he doesn’t get it, that sweet little Rebel Kitty with the adorable face, pins his tiny ears back and makes like an offended lion. FEED ME NOW, PUNY HUMAN! The food going into the dish doesn’t need to be pretty. No points are given for style or appearance. Just dump it in and beat feet while Rebel Kitty devours said sustenance in mad glee.

That’s how NaNo feels. Dump and run, and keep running, and don’t stop or look back until November 30th or 50k.

Currently, I’m not running fast enough, as witnessed by this screenshot of my dashboard:wk1statsAll things considered, it’s not as bad as it could be. We’re only 8 days in, I haven’t written today, and I was out of town 3 of those days. Though I tried to carve out writing time, on one of them I wrote a grand total of 169 words.

Here’s the thing. In my head, in the dark, scary place where my internal editor lives, just about every one of those eight thousand six hundred and eighty six words feels like–to quote a character who showed up out of nowhere and inserted herself into a scene I had no idea existed until I wrote it–camel tripe. I believe yesterday I wrote the worst fight scene I’ve ever penned. I know I repeated ‘twisted’ at least five times in one paragraph, sending my internal editor into convulsions. I nearly  joined him writhing on the floor.

No. Looking. Back.

ERMAHGERD THIS IS SOOOOOOOO HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story feels disjointed, full of holes, thin, and baseless. There’s fluff. I know there is. I can’t do anything about it. I have to leave it be and just keep going until I hit that magic 50k mark. Or November 30th. Whichever comes first. Still, I don’t think I’ll be finished. My novels are never only 50k. Maybe this raw, rough, disaster of a first draft will be.

Hopefully, by the end of November, I won’t hate what it’s become.

Hopefully, by the end of November, I’ll still want to shape it into something finished and pristine and awesome.

Right now… I’m scared.

I’m going to keep pushing though. Keep barfing the words onto the screen for all the reasons I mentioned in my last post. In the back of my mind I’ll keep holding onto the hope that my NaNo story will survive.

If it does, and I do, and I find success in this strange experiment, newsletter subscribers are going to get something special. Yes, that’s a plug. Now would be a good time for you to sign up for my never-any-spam author newsletter. The linky is on the left. At the top. Go on. Don’t be shy.

 

11 Comments:

  1. Keep pushing. Do NaNo your way. One year, I set a goal to write 30,000 words.

  2. Oooh, nicely done with the plug. 😉

    Nanowrimo is a catch-22 for some of us. My first 4 rounds, I followed all the rules and word dumped like mad. And they’re all garbage. :-/ Like, I need to reconceptualize them altogether. *sigh* Oh, well.

    There’s this thing about pushing yourself that’s interesting, though. You raise your base line. Like interval training in exercise where you go at a semi-uncomfortable pace for a bit and then push yourself at a yucky pace for a bit, then go back down. It makes the semi-comfortable pace the comfortable pace much faster than slowly building. It works with almost everything, not just exercise. So, you may find your word count goes up even after your inner editor is allowed to have its voice again.

    • That’s actually what I’m hoping for.

    • Last year I did NaNo and had a buddy who was also in. Some days it took six hours to get the day’s minium words. If I can do it, YOU can. I have that pesky internal editor too. I DO understand. Sending {{ <3 }}

      • Thanks, Tess. I’ve been stealing time on breaks at the day job, then curling up with laptop after supper for a few hours. I can occasionally do 1k in 1 hour, but apparently not during NaNo. I haven’t even hit close to that.

  3. What ReGi said. I’m doing it to try and raise the base line too. Not trying to worry too much about whether I make it. I’ll be at a workshop for several days, and that will definitely cut into my writing time. But if I can manage a higher daily average than normal, that’s already a win. 🙂

    • If I can sit and actually write more than a couple hundred words and NOT rework them to death every day, I will consider that a win. Good luck, Ruth. And have fun at the workshop.

  4. You definitely need to get out of that negative head-space my dear. I worry that your concern over the quality is going to make progress that much harder. Maybe you should make NaNo about the quality instead of quantity–what if you focus on getting the first 10,000 words written the way you like it? Use that as your NaNo challenge. Then focus on the next 10,000. I just hate seeing you stress so much over it when I know deep-down your story is going to be awesome regardless, because you’re such a fantastic writer. I think you might be making it harder on yourself. Just my two cents. 🙂

    • Your two cents is always welcome and always worth more than that. 🙂 Yesterday I managed to bypass the 10k mark, so that was a milestone. I’m working on convincing myself that what I’m doing is creating an outline of sorts. That, whether I hit 50k or not, I’m building an armature that I can flesh out and form into an amazing sculpture. I did consider throwing in the towel, but I’m stubborn that way. I’ll see this through as an experiment in conquering my snail’s pace and rewriteritiss, and then The Dark Past will rise from the ashes.

      And thank you, always, for your support and encouragement. <3

  5. I have it too. I usually handwrite into a journal the first time then as I’m putting onto the computer at the library to save to my flash drive I rewrite as I’m transferring from the handwritten to the typed.

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