Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughts from Nano

I completed Nano.

For those of you who regularly read this blog, I doubt you are surprised that I hit the word threshold of 50,000. I can sputter 50,000 words of crap quite easily, you already know this. What I do feel accomplished about is to have written 50,000 words relating to one slightly coherent plot with a couple of sub-plots and with a slight amount of character development. That, folks, is not something I was sure I could do because I do have a bit of ADD in my writing.

I have tried to write a novel since I was 10 years old. I'd get to about page 20 and start to lose steam. I'd put it down for a few weeks, and then...I'd forget, and by the time I got back to it I'd have to re-read the whole thing, and I'd still be lost. Nanowrimo is great because it's writing a novel in 30 days. The timeline is so short that you don't forget where you're at or where you're going. It's a continuous word vomit. When I wasn't word vomiting this month, like when I was at work or trying to go to sleep, I'd mentally work out where I would be going next in my writing session so that when I was in front of a computer, I could word vomit.

In short, it was an awesome exercise in discipline. And I made it!

Now people are asking to read it. I think my husband asked, but he doesn't directly put me in a corner about it like a lot of other people have. One thing that I personally struggle with is not having people learn all facets of me. I feel incredibly vulnerable the more people know. My Nanowrimo project was almost like a huge therapy session due to the subject and the themes. I don't think the theme and subjects are ones that I discuss here, so for someone who only reads this would be taken aback. Plus it needs a LOT of editing work, and I think at least one of the themes isn't socially acceptable. So I doubt I'll be sharing anytime soon.

Around 42,000 words I felt done. I had lost sufficient steam. I'd written the conclusion; the end was there, but I still needed to get my word count up. So I worked on filling holes. And you know what? I was impressed with my ability to fill holes, and I ended up creating a sub-plot of sorts that I weaved through it. There's something to be said about forcing yourself to go a little farther when you already feel like you've done "enough." I hate that part in running, but in writing it's far more tolerable.

I feel kind of proud of myself. Not just in actually doing it, but in getting the time management down. There are certain people I know that get overwhelmed by only a 37.5 hour workweek. I get that we all have our own independent standards of "busy," but there's something strangely satisfying about working full-time, having a husband, having a kid, training for a 5k, AND writing a novel all in the same month. I'm sorry, I just don't have pity on people who complain they "can't" do things when really they don't want it bad enough.

It's all about the priorities you make in life.

2 comments:

Jesse said...

Regarding "being busy"--Katrina and I have noticed that difference between us as well. She juggles two internships, Sunday school teaching, mass, and tutoring, all while going to grad school full-time. Meanwhile, my much emptier schedule, with nothing but two weekly meetings and daily Japanese classes, is too full for me to the point where I've decided to drop Japanese. But I see your point about "can't" vs. "don't want it enough." I realize that I could do a lot more. The fact is that I just don't want to--I *like* having a free schedule and a relaxed existence.

Quietly Subversive said...

Don't we all like having free schedules? I don't think anyone really wants to have such a jam-packed schedule. But some of us, like me, would just wander around aimlessly for hours a day without direction or without something to cross off a list. Some other people really like to be needed, and feeling needed makes them feel good.

I'm sure your hobbies take up a lot of time. And you do work.

What stymies me are those people (and I dated one) who take forever to do anything. They need at least 3 hours to get out of the house, they have a 2 hour night routine before they go to bed, they literally exist in a different space-time continuum. I do not think I could ever have a long-term relationship with someone like that.

You're right, though, I need to acknowledge that some people have quite a bit lower thresholds for what they can do in a day or a week.