Some thoughts on my NaNoWriMo journey

I thought I should post something since it had been some time since my last post. I know the title of my blog allows for some leeway in this regard, but I do actually have a few thoughts I'd like to jot down if only for myself. And, who am I kidding? They probably are just for myself.

I have to say that I had mixed emotions about participating in NaNoWriMo this year after the death of my step father in October. On the one hand, it seemed much to soon after such a sudden loss, but on the other hand I felt it would also be a great distraction. In addition to that, I felt like I had a really great story in mind that I had been thinking about since the last NaNoWriMo. So mixed emotions or not I dove right in.

At first I made fairly steady progress. I was averaging two thousand words per day and the story seemed to be off to a solid if somewhat mediocre start. Then with all of the stresses and sad thoughts as of late, I started to slow and view the writing as a chore. I continued to write anyway, but I soon found that I was just writing for the sake of writing. The story was really going nowhere and there was a day last week that I almost threw in the towel. But I didn't, I kept writing and maybe that's the best advice anyone can give you. Just keep writing.

I'm glad that I did because I think it helped me find my way back to the fun of it. Allowing myself just to let go and write even if it was terrible. If I hadn't done that I wouldn't have had the really great day of writing that I had yesterday. It's not as if the writing I did yesterday was a shining example of brilliant prose. It wasn't. What it was, however, was fun. And amidst the fun I wound up with some useable chunks of writing for my novel.

I think if I hadn't just kept writing, then the piece of advice that I received in my email from Chris Baty, Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light, wouldn't really have hit me the way it did. He suggested that instead of just trudging along scene by scene, we skip to the end. That's right, you can eat that piece of cake first. Admit it, that's what you wanted all along anyway. Go ahead and write that ending, then go back and write the pivotal scenes that get you to that ending. That way when the end of November rolls around you'll have not just 50,000 plus words of meandering story, but an entire story arc. How satisfying will that be? Of course you'll still have to go back and fill in the transitional bits, but it'll be so much easier when you know where you're going. Oh, and by the way, don't forget to throw in a monkey for good measure.

So that's really all that I wanted to get off of my chest. I'm off to write my ending and those pivotal scenes. Oh, and one more thing, I broke down and bought my Christmas present early. I know I said I couldn't justify spending the money on one, but I bought it anyway. Yes, that's right, I bought a SpaceSaver M by Unicomp for my MacBook. The monkey made me do it!

P.S. - I'll write a post with some good pics of the new keyboard soon :)


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