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.


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.