Another year, another win! Not just having written 50k words in 30 days, but having rebuilt the habit of writing every day.
One of the things I find every year when I do this crazy exercise is the flow and ebb of creativity. Flow first, because it always seems when I start my NaNo journey I take off with a rush of creative energy, but by week 2, that energy starts to ebb, and I find myself writing a lot of inline notes to myself, or more accurately, stream of consciousness writing along the lines of “what if this happened now” or “this sounds stupid, fix it later”.
With the cooler weather, and … oh, heck, it’s the sunset at four freaking o’clock … I haven’t been walking as much as I was back before we turned the clocks back, and before the sun set earlier than six o’clock. Walking really helps with the whole brainstorming process for me. There was a writer some time ago who posted about walking whenever she got stuck … Come to think of it, a LOT of writers walk when they get stuck.
Anyway, I end up doing a lot of brainstorming, or just brain-nothing, when I walk. But now, with the early sunset and working until late afternoon (i.e. after the sun goes down), I’m not getting my daily dose of fresh air, and I’m not getting the benefit of the half-hour or so of “brainwalking”.
So what’s a writer to do? Wait for the winter solstice, for sure (about three weeks and counting!). But I’ve learned that writing longhand is a great way to stoke the creative energies. Of course, writing longhand means the computer doesn’t conveniently count how many words I write.
What does work, though, is writing … er, drafting a project outside of the NaNo window, then transcribing that into the computer as a NaNo project. It’s amazing how many words can come out of a longhand draft. I had started writing one of the novellas this summer, I think, then started it again (cuz I had a better idea, or the first one sucked worse than usual or something along those lines). I knew that novella was going to be one of my NaNo projects.
By the time I transcribed the part I’d drafted (only about the first third to a half of the novella), I’d gotten back into the story, and managed to finish it in a way I had never considered when I started it. Score!
I’m feeling like a real writer again. I mean, I am a real writer, but … you know what I mean. I’m back into the “writing every day” habit (or most every day), and I’m going back to my police procedural to revise that a bit right now. Or maybe my small-town mystery. Or maybe book 3 …
I feel a craft-related post coming up for next week, now that I’ve finished reading a couple books that had me analyzing the way the authors used the craft. Very interesting, and they had me reading as much for gleaning ideas on how to write as much as for the story itself.
Keep on writing!