NaNoWriMo so far


How are you? I’m fine. How’s your NaNoWriMo going? I’ve written a little over fifteen thousand words, so I’m a bit behind on my word count, but whatever. I don’t think I’ve updated my word count since the last time I posted about NaNo.

As someone who regularly gets absorbed by minutiae to an excessive degree, going online to get to the NaNoWriMo site is just placing temptation in my own path. With Imgur only a click away, it might be hours before I get to the site I went online to check out. If I ever do. Sometimes I fall into that pit of cats and Ryan Gosling, and don’t make it out until 3am. (Sidenote: the full Magic Bullet infomercial is probably better than everything else that’s on at 3am. There are so many layers. And I’m not just talking about the dip.)

Twitter has been helpful, though. Mostly because most of my friends aren’t on Twitter, so I just follow book and music people that I don’t know. I’ve been a follower and occasional participant in @FriNightWrites, and I recently started following @NaNoWordSprints. Even when I don’t actively participate, having that stuff constantly cycling through my feed keeps NaNo at the forefront of my mind.

I don’t like talking about a work in progress unless I’m stuck and *knock on wood* right now I’m not stuck. I don’t like to talk about writing in general, actually. I don’t like to talk about process and how I get ideas and what you should and shouldn’t do. Maybe because I don’t understand it well enough yet to feel qualified to comment, or maybe because the part of me that is superstitious thinks that talking about it will cause that very personal, sometimes almost alchemical, process to become permanently tainted. And the thought of losing the ability to write gives me anxiety.

But without talking at all about writing, how is this an update. So here are some thoughts on writing.

  • I do not write in the morning. I am not a morning person. A lot of writers who write about writing have given advice about writing in the morning being the best way. Maybe for them. For me, night is best. Night is good. Darkness. Solitude. No one texting you about assignments or how they aren’t sure whether the guy they’re seeing is their boyfriend or not (if you’re not sure, he’s not your boyfriend. If you want him to be, ask him to be. If he says no, at least you know.)(I am not qualified to give relationship advice. People should really stop texting me about this stuff.)
  • I do not outline. Not because I don’t believe in outlining, but because I get too absorbed in the details. The most I’ll do is write “flaming globes of sigmund” on a post-it and stick it to my laptop.
  • I do character build like an OCD detective investigating a serial killer, though. Notes on the wall with pictures and strings and big red circles and different colored highlighters and all that jazz. Character is story. I need to know my characters more than I need to know my plot, because without my characters, there is no plot. (Sidenote: this is why I have trouble writing to prompts/themes. I have an idea about how to fix this, but I haven’t tested it out fully so I’m not going get into that here.)
  • I do write when I’m supposed to be doing other things. Just as when you try to sit down to write nothing seems more important than checking your Facebook status, there is nothing more satisfying than writing when you really should be working on a twenty page paper or listening to someone talk about metadata.
  • I do put on headphones but I don’t listen to music. Music distracts me. Makes me dance. I wear headphones solely for the “don’t talk to me” that headphones imply.

There are other things, but that should do for now. I have to save some of my insanity for future posts.

How’s NaNo treating you? Good? Bad? Ugly?




2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo so far

  1. I think that you and I are the same person…well, almost. I think my internet ADD has become so much more apparent during Nano! I find myself getting, equally, caught up in the Nano forums. I understand their purpose but they are not helpful for the procrastinating author!

    I think that you’ve really pegged the writing process for someone like us very well. I have never outlined and I have always focused heavily on characters. I feel like if you have a well developed character, he/she will carry you along the path they are “supposed” to travel.

    I will say that I created a plot outline (for the first time in my life). Since creating it, I have reworked it about 17 times because my characters pull me in a different direction.

    I really think that writing is not a “one size fits all” experience. I think you’ve done a really great job with illustrating this point. Great post and I hope that Nano isn’t driving you too insane (like it is me. :D)

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, and yeah, if I’ve learned anything (and that’s definitely up for debate) it’s that there are so many different ways to go about writing. I don’t know that Nano is making me any crazier than I already was, but that’s not saying much 🙂

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