Well, it’s Day 11 in the National Novel Writing Month journey. The frantic “Write 50,000 words in 30 days” challenge. I wrote last week about plugging into the collective energy as authors around the world are sitting in front of their keyboards, tablets, laptops, and notebooks – in a creative frenzy to answer the challenge.
I see only one problem with this, and it’s a Universal Law: What goes up – must come down.
I’m at that point when I’m asking myself why the hell I thought I should do this again. It’s kind of like childbirth, if you remembered how much it hurt, you’d never, ever – do it again.
Because that would be crazy, right?
I was riding high, writing in a frenzy, pulling ahead of the daily par, and entering my word count faithfully – up to five times a day. Hey, I’m obsessive like that. I also write things I’ve already done on a list so I can cross them off and feel accomplished. 🙂
That’s just me.
Anyway, here comes the hard part.
Staying plugged in.
For me, writing is very emotional. I dive right into my character’s heads while ripping out experiences from my soul. It’s exhausting for me. I can write a scene that lays me flat for the rest of the day – Jello-brained.
But I can’t let that stop me, oh no. I peel myself off the couch and do it again the next day.
Hell, let’s be honest here. My back hurts, my butt is asleep, and I have a wife whom I love very much (and get to see very little.) We have different schedules. Any experienced NaNo’er will tell you, having a life during this month is hard. I’m obsessed on the word count. My mind races constantly in order to keep up with it. I’m trying to structure a novel that’s worth reading, juggling wifely duties, and at this point, it seems that everything else in the world is in cahoots to distract me from my goal.
This last week, I was sitting in my recliner, and my mind would not shut off. My muse was agitated and screaming at me to draw. I have made a couple of gifts over the last few years to give to members of my family, but it was art I’d already done. Not any new stuff.
Macy, the muse, (named such because it rhymes with-racy :)) revved her engines – then screeched out of “writing” gear, burning rubber before popping into “artist” mode.
“No!” I tell her. “I have a word count to keep. I must keep you focused.” (Hey, I tried.)
Macy loves to argue with me, and she usually wins, but that’s because I like to keep her happy, she sticks around that way. Anyone who has ever spent any time in front of a blank page knows the deal. I don’t even want to tell you what I’ve had to bribe her with in the past.
We go into the office, and then begin the near-futile search for drawing supplies. If you saw my office – where everything in the rest of the house comes to die – you would totally understand my dilemma. Not only have we made a cross country trip move from Washington to Alabama, we also moved from Alabama to Texas. Before each trip, I tried to organize, and each trip, I gave away more of my personal belongings – including craft supplies. Space over function, that’s what they tell me – but everyone knows that she who dies with the most craft supplies – wins.
I had reluctantly gave up my place in that contest and parted with my paints, pencils, watercolors, art books, tubs of various paper, and other assorted stuff which took up at least four purple tubs. At this point, I can’t find my existing work either.
While I’m in the closet with my head down and my ass in the air, I realize – man, I have to clean this stuff out. Clothes start flying out, shoes, boxes, and… OH LOOK what I found! I forgot I had this pretty, glass-antiquey thing hiding in here. What was I thinking? This needs to go in the living room where I can appreciate it!
I step over the clothes, around the boxes, and took it into the kitchen to clean it up. I put said thingy on the counter – but wait – there’s the dinner dishes. I have to wash those first because the shiny thing is too big to fit in the sink. I need a dishtowel, but there’s none in the drawer. I have to go into the garage and see if I even put them in the dryer, or forgot them (again) in the washer – at which point, I have to wash them again.
I was talking about the NaNo.
Do you SEE how easy it is to distract the ADD author?
I’ll get to my point.
The big difference between last year and this – is that I have author buddies now. They are priceless to me as they help keep me sane.
On paper anyway.
There’s a whole to be said about camaraderie.
This month, we have writing blitzes on FB wherein we race to see who can make the word count for the day. It helps keeps us accountable, and give (or take) encouragement as it’s needed.
I’m also crazy lucky to have Jove Belle in my life, because she totally rocks. If I’m off and running on a tangent (who me?) she brings me back to earth (kinda) and helps me redirect my focus. She’s also a great brainstorming partner.
And what’s with the people who say they’ve finished already? Really? What is their secret? They must be far more disciplined than I. The thought of writing over ten thousand words a day – gives me an instant headache and would leave me in an emotionally wrecked puddle on the floor.
Anyway, back to the point – which I’ve totally forgotten.
Oh yes, word count – and surviving the NaNo.
Hell with it, my mind went blank and I’m flying by the seat of my pants – again.
Damn it, Macy has run off. If you see her, don’t let her in. She’s been known to be a little dangerous at times, has a little sadistic streak, and a tendency to take you places you really don’t want to go.
Trust me on this.
Send her home.
I have a word count to make today. 🙂