Well the lava keeps flowing – I’m now half way though NaNowriMo (National Novel Writing Month – in which you commit to producing 50,000 words of a novel within the month of November) and I’m more than half way to my target -YAY!!!! Here’s my progress (NaNoWriMo is full of motivational tools and gizmos).
So far I’ve averaged 200 words a day above par – but that has varied from days when I’ve managed just a few hundred words, to days when I’ve significantly exceeded my quota. The important thing for me is that I’ve managed to write something –even a short paragraph – every single day.
What I’ve learnt from this is that on the days when I’ve been in danger of falling behind the curve and racing to catch up with my targets (anyone who knows me well knows I’m very competitive) I have allowed myself to just let it all flow – I have gagged my inner critic.
When I’ve been stuck – for example in a research hole – I just type a bit in capitals to flag that I need to look something up. There are a lot of people and places in my manuscript temporarily named XXX.
The most important learning for me is that where I would normally say to myself “mmm – need to mull that one over and think about it some more” I have instead just plunged in and let it happen. I don’t know whether this is a better or worse approach but it is very different for me – and at least I will have something concrete to re-read and edit/ reject, instead of just vague ideas floating around in my head.
This afternoon was a classic example: I was writing a sex scene and normally my hidden editor would jump out and tell me “you can’t write that!” – but I just wrote it – it may all end up on the cutting room floor – but I have a feeling it won’t…
So if you want to write a lot without your usual self-imposed constraints and if you like putting yourself under pressure sign up for NaNoWriMo next year. I’ll definitely be there again!