Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo update: I've been Week 2'd

I can't find the email, but the folks at NaNoWriMo sent me a warning about Week 2, and how many writers go off the rails at that time.

I had a great Week 1, really enjoyed writing for the first time in forever. I had started with a novel project that I didn't really expect to go anywhere but had fun playing with. I thought about my character and what she was doing whenever my mind wandered. I got 7,900 words written and was feeling great about it.

I'm teaching a new course this term, though, and my students started to need more from me. I needed to spend more time prepping for my classes and started to get panicky about all the work responsibilities that I wasn't taking care of.  I thought about all of my extracurriculars: My exercise classes and workouts, my watercolor painting class, Nanowrimo...

Reluctantly and with a heavy heart, I realized that something had to give, and this time I decided it was going to be Nanowrimo.  I feel like it's the right thing to do at this time, even though I was having fun with it.  I do feel like I'm going to keep working on my writing, I just don't think I can keep up with the pace I need to successfully complete this year. My class goes through early December.

I haven't been blogging as much for the same reasons as I'm dropping NaNoWriMo.  Never fear, things are still pretty status quo for me. I'm still struggling with Weight Watchers and hoping for miracles with the new plan. I'm still exercising, though I have cut back a bit on my workouts too.

I think I broke through the pain barrier with my writing, though. Focusing on word count and not on some mythical ideal of what a novel should be really helped me through my MFA-induced fear that every word I write is crap.  I realized that all the jockeying for status that characterized my workshops in that program didn't really have much to do with what writing is all about.

What is writing all about? Butt in chair, words on paper. 

I would definitely recommend NaNoWriMo for anyone who is struggling to break through a block.  Just reading the ideas that some people in my region posted for novels made me realize I had been taking it all too seriously.  Why not a series of hockey romance novels or a supernatural young adult coming-of-age piece?  At least these writers were having fun with their work.  That's been my secret with my painting class -- I'm doing my art for my own enjoyment, not because I think I can sell it.  Why didn't I ever approach writing that way before?

Maybe I'll do ScriptFrenzy in April.

1 comment:

  1. There are limits to what we can do with our 24 hours of time. You made the right call on this one, for the right reasons. But I'm really glad you gave it a shot and found it helped breaking through a block. You're a wonderful writer and I hope you have more time for it in the future.

    As for blogging, I'm not doing much of that these days either, so I totally understand that one, too.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07