November 30th, the D-Day for all of us doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Was the month everything everyone expected? I'm guessing not.
My journey: not a smooth as I had planned. Yes, it was meant to be a breeze, work a bit longer, write just in the evenings... ah, so pleasant. Did not count on getting sick, family overload, and break down of my writing system.
Were they still some of the best things that could have happened to my writing?
Well, not the getting sick, or the family overload, but having my writing system break down on me for no discernible reason (at the time), and struggling with my purpose in life and place in the universe helped me to identify the issues and get back on track.
On November the 25th I hit 25,000 words, the halfway mark. Not really a good sign.
But since then I've been opening up a blank document everyday and just letting my subconscious go for it with as little interference from me as possible. My word speed has increased dramatically (back up around 2,000 words per hour), my enjoyment at writing is rebounding, and some new characters and events that I had never imagined have appeared and become much loved.
I'm particularly interested in the fact that my joy and excitement at writing has returned. Two days ago I even woke up and was reading a non-fiction book (Career Management for Creative People, reasonably interesting. When I've finished, will do a proper review). But then I got the feeling, that little prompting that said 'I don't want to be reading this, I want to be reading that other book I'm in at the moment.' And I was like 'what other book?' And my subconscious said 'you know, the one that feels like this...', 'and I was like, 'but I'm not reading any other book...' And then I realised: My subconscious wanted to keep reading the book I was writing! It wanted to find out what happened to my characters (even though I've actually written the last page, I think, but still)!
I had developed an emotional connection to my book that made me want to keep going. (Well, keep reading, but that involved writing, which is slightly harder).
And all that was because I let my subconscious write the story, rather than trying to wrestle it away and make it a more conscious creation. Of course, the conscious creation will come about when I have to edit it, but I will ahve a full manuscript by then.
And now it is the 30th of November, and I'm to 48,309!
I just have to go home and do 2,000 words more and I will have completed my first ever NaNoWriMo. So unless the world falls apart or something serious unlucky happens to me, I'm actually going to make it, and get a good night's sleep.
How did you go?
If you even managed to start, I'm counting that as a win. You have a story idea and an introduction. Now keep going!
To encourage you to keep going, whether you finished or not, I'm giving away a writing journal to anyone who lists below the word count (be it 100 or 100,000) they achieved during NaNoWriMo.
This is open until the end of the year (2012), so even if you are reading this a bit late, put your name down.