NaNoWriMo (National Book Writing Month) started Sunday morning at the stroke of midnight, and while people around the world waited by the clock to start punching keys, I gave myself the luxury of a 4:30 wake up. 4:30 felt more like 5:30 this Sunday and I was ready, with daylight savings on my side.
In the days leading up to November 1st, there was a lot of NaNo chatter on Twitter and Instagram – people wrote six word prompts, offered support, and posted creative pictures of themselves preparing. You should check it out if you like pictures of cats and laptops. I’m new to the #hashtag thing, so I practiced uploading a couple pictures and adding #nanowrimo. It’s fun to see people around the world offering each other encouragement. I even joined an Australian Nanowrimo Facebook Support Group! How cool is that? I learned about it from an Australian Writer’s podcast I listen to, which I link to on my Inspiration Page.
So, back to the first day of Nanowrimo. I had 90 minutes to write 1,667 words. My plan was to type nonstop for 90 minutes and if I couldn’t think of anything to write – I would write “I can’t think of anything to write”. The word count was my goal. Quantity, not quality. A strange thing happened when I started writing Sunday. My stream of consciousness wrote an outline. Don’t get too excited, there weren’t Roman Numerals or anything, just lists of events, observations, thoughts, people I wanted to include, setting, what was going on in the world, cultural context, and a character arch. At the end of the 90 minutes, I had a 1,775. I patted myself on the head for surpassing my goal, updated my word count to the word tracker and stopped for the day. I didn’t want to keep going and show off in front of my Nano writing buddies.
Day 2 – I started writing the first scene from this new outline, then, in the middle of the scene, I had an inclination to write a different scene from the year before. My fingers typed, and I didn’t give them a chance to stop. I wouldn’t let my monkey mind take over to stop and think (criticize) or edit (stop my momentum). If I wanted to go in a different direction, I just went there, even if it wasn’t on the outline, because let’s be real, I wrote the outline in 90 minutes the day before. It’s possible I left a few things out. Day 2 I updated my total word count: 3,200.
Then, day three came (today) and the honeymoon was over. First, I went to bed an hour late last night (Instagram’s fault), which meant I still had to get up at 4:30 to put the words in. With only six hours of sleep, I was awake, but my discipline wasn’t and I spent the first 30 minutes of the 90 on social media (more Instagram). I finally wrote, but only 900 words, which meant I had to write an additional 700 words later in the day. I found that time in the evening, but it was harder because I was tired. Also, I stressed out about it throughout the day, which isn’t the point.
Since I’m determined to get into the routine, I’m ending this post and uploading the darn thing. If I wait until tomorrow, I’ll have to go back and edit all the “todays” into “yesterdays” and I might get busy doing something else and forget about it. Like a famous person once said, “85% done and sent is better than 99% perfect in your drawer” (I apologize to the famous person for butchering their quote and forgetting who they are.)