On writing 50,000 words

I’m writing 50,000 words in a month. One story, one manuscript. The other day my undisciplined child side screamed, “I hate this novel!” while my adult goal-striving and reaching side exclaimed, “I’m proud that I’ve reached this far!” I really have never written this much on one single subject before without outside material (i.e. research paper, etc.). I had a vague outline in my head but really it can only take me so far. I wrote so much crap yesterday that it gave me a headache. Or should I say that perfectionist/critic inside me gave me the headache and maybe I needed some caffeine (damn you, caffeine!). I feel that if I don’t write something that has some kind of substance whether it is a joyride or enlightening then I am wasting my time. But then I have to remind myself that this is about my goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Making sure that it has substance can wait for the rewrite, right? *sigh*

*maniacal laugh* Or I will print it out and ceremoniously burn it bit by bit. I read in “On Becoming a Novelist” by John Gardner that your first novel is often the sacrifice for all the other novels because it was a learning experience. It may be that white whale you fish off the shelf and rewrite again because you just can’t give up on it but really it is just the one that got away from you. Of course, when something from a book sticks in my mind there is always a purpose for it. When I read this, I decided I would pick which idea would die. Alas, that is the hard bit. Do I let my story about the power of belief inĀ  the everyday as well as the fantastical settings be ground up by my strategy? Or this one or that one? Ugh, when an idea is born between you and your muse sometimes it is a challenge letting go. Truly I have heard this from more than one creative person.

It’s funny writing a lot about one single story makes me want to write more about other things. I’m resisting this urge because I think it is my way of trying to sabotage the path to my goal this month. So I write it down in my (now) overflowing notebook and move on with my current goal! Because I know what’s going to happen. If I write something else (not including this blog) then my mind will start to wonder if it counts or if my time is better spent writing other things, etc. etc. fill-in-the-blank-excuse-not-to-get-to-the-finish-line-of-50,000-words.

Last week was really hard. I had another goal already in mind for Lily’s birthday before I decided on doing this word count. We painted her dresser with magnetic paint and chalkboard paint. Cut to the chase, it took more time and energy than we expected but it got done and it is really cool! But it was a little bit of a distraction. Don assisting with it, even though we had our disagreements and loud grumbling, got it done in a timely manner (thank you, my love). Then the bright idea of a slumber party with her two other girlfriends. It was an absolute blast and absolutely exhausting and guess who did not get any writing done! It was worth it though. Lily doesn’t have any girls to play with in our neighborhood or it could be their parents just don’t let them out because of the rambunctious boys outside. Caught Lily fighting with a boy not long ago and had to explain to her that the boys may fight but she will not; she will come home if that’s all they are doing. So, it was very important to me to fulfill her need for girl time with her friends, who are Washington Local, on her birthday. Must make more time for girls!

Well, somewhere in there my car died, as well. It’s hard to just be done with that sort of thing but I’m getting by. A mechanic recently said over the phone that the engine is worn out (over 181,000 miles, maybe it is) but Don won’t have that. We’ll see. I really love my silver compact…sad panda.

*breathe in, breathe out* But my goal is in sight regardless!!! I’m getting it done. And then I’m going to take a month off from writing such an exorbitant amount of words. Oh, yeah, using exorbitant made me think of my favorite thing someone has said when I told them my goal: (my boss said this, lol) “Why would someone do that to themselves!?” That was a reaction I would expect if she saw someone with a septum piercing, rofl.

50,000 Words; Here I Go!

This year I registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which goes from November first to November thirtieth. Thirty days to reach the goal of writing fifty-thousand words. About 1667/day or 11669/week with a couple days to breathe. Believe or not I found out about it through Facebook. Not from someone or an ad or anything like from the Flair application, haha, of all places! I am currently up to 7100 words. I was doing pretty good. Reached my goal of 2500 words per day for two days but I was all alone, no distractions. My thinking was that if I wrote 2500 words per day, Monday through Friday I could have my weekends free.

Come Wednesday, work in the morning so I have to find time to write in the afternoon or evening. Pick up Lily…I think she can smell when I am trying to concentrate. It is as if sugar is seeping out of my pores evaporating into the air and she can’t stay away from or stop talking to me. This sounds horrible, I know. I’m her mother I should want to talk with her and spend time with her but, hey, I’ve got needs! I helped her with her homework, snack then “honey, please go play in your room.” Argh! That was not reverse psychology, kiddo! I’ve just decided, of course, that the best time to write is obviously when she is not around (i.e. school or bedtime or those precious moments when grandpa comes to take her away for a time).

*sigh* So limit learned. It is also a little difficult to write and access my subconscious/inspiration when my husband is around. I think it is my feeling of love and obligation to connect. Proof of this was when I was at Starbucks the other day and music was playing, customers talking, bell on door ringing, expresso machine whooshing and frothing. All this noise and I happily was writing non-stop in my notebook. Craziness! So, yeah that’s when I realized I love my family too much and should not care about connecting with them…just kidding….if I want to write when they are around. Eh, I’ll get over it. My hubbie reminded me that is how it is. If you wanna work at home you haveĀ  to manage everything from the physical, emotional, psychological, etc. to be successful.

I read that sudden fatigue is a sign that you are resisting changing habit and for me right now that is writing a certain amount of words per day. The other day I was writing got about halfway to my goal for the day and then I’m falling asleep in my seat. I take two hour nap but at least I went back to writing after that. It is a lot easier for me to put the tunnel glasses on when I’m alone and focus on writing. Well, life isn’t like that now is it? Besides I’m too much of a people person to be a hermit for more than a few days at a time anyway. I would get depressed. (I’ve been there)

I’m trying to keep my inner critic in check until it is rewrite time. There is a good time for your critic and a bad time. When you are trying for the first time to get your first draft of your first novel manuscript is one those times you must keep it at bay. It may stop me in my tracks. So I keep telling it that it will have it’s say all in good time right now I just have to get it out of my head.

It is a fantasy novel and though I had an idea at the beginning, I didn’t realize how many rules I had not already known! As I write they just roll out of me as if they had always been there–like duh! And then the villain is someone I didn’t expect either and I hope that my rewrite will keep it kind of a mystery as well. I’m finding the writing process of this adventure very fascinating.