I'm not sleeping. I'm drinking too much coffee. I'm obsessing over word counts. My plot bunnies are afraid of me. And we're all terrified of the Muse, who has become an evil whip-wielding overlord.
Yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo. For the first time. I admit it: Days before November 1st, I became downright terrified. Call it performance anxiety. I was certain I would abandon the project before the week was over or before I'd reached 8000 words, whichever came first. And I'd spent a whole year bragging to my friends and any poor fool who would listen to me that I was going to write a novel in November.
So...how's it been for me so far?
It's been both a Blessing and a Curse.
A blessing because I am finding out that I can write some pretty amazing shit when I'm not agonizing too much over plot lines and development. I'm letting the characters develop themselves. I'm bitch-slapping my inner editor and calmly reassuring myself that I'll be editing all this stuff soon enough.
What else do I know?
- Writing is easy. Just let go and do what you were born to do. But also;
- Writing is hard. What the hell is my next sentence? What's going to happen next?
- It is important to Back Up Your Work. I deleted a whole chapter last weekend. Forever. Had to rewrite from scratch. Twitter friend Catherine Russell turned me on to Google Docs. I'd already been using it for other stuff. <writer smacks forehead in a V-8 juice moment and says a very bad word>
- Twitter friends, Facebook friends, and local Wrimo's ROCK! They encouraged me at my lowest point (see #3) and kept me from throwing in the towel.
- Take notes. I'm not stopping to edit (much) so if I write something that gives my inner editor fits, I annotate it in the software to look at later.
- Coffee tastes pretty damn good at 2 a.m.
- I am having the time of my life, regardless of how much this novel sucks right now.
- In twelve days, I will have written more words on any one project than I have ever written before.
I also know that 50,000 words will not complete this novel. I don't even know if 50,000 words will get me halfway finished.
But, and this is probably the most important thing I've learned so far about this whole NaNoWriMo manic writing experience:
I can write a novel. Yes, I can!