Nano Finale   6 comments

Did it! Amazing experience, helped by the online Nanowrimo forum, with 200,000 other people doing the same thing all around the world.  Dutch high-schoolers and Malaysian retirees and New Zealand farmers, Singapore lawyers and Hong Kong engineers.  Everyone talking about it as they’re doing it. Egging each other on.  Telling funny stories.  Making and soliciting suggestions.  Cries for help.  Competitions.  Excerpts for critiquing.  How-to’s for people writing about medieval French history, chameleons, murder by deuterium, dragon mating, the proper warping and beaming of looms, the spices in chicken tikka, etc.  Writing Buddies.  The online support videos and posts from published authors. The sense of an immense online community engaged in huge set of magical creative hopeful acts against the naysayers and wannabes and critics, and our own doubts and inner censors and resistance and procrastination and  sloth.

Word by word.  And now, 50,260 words of the first draft of a fantasy novel.  Or 106 pages in a Word document.  A month of writing.  Virtually no editing whatsover, beyond what spell-check does in true robot fashion.

Haven’t looked back at it.  Not sure I want to.  In any case I need to spend some time away from it.  Catch up on this blog, on laundry, dishes.

Free at last!  No, not free at all:  finished with the first step.  Let down a bit, to tell the truth.  Adrenaline and all.  Time to rest up, pull back from writing for a week, so the first symptoms of carpal tunnel subside (mostly my left arm).

Most productive day — over 5000 words. Had about five of those during the month.  Nice to know I can do it.  Wow.  OK, onward.  Get a fire built later (it’s sunny and in the 40s outside), shave, take a shower, write a letter, pay bills. Take a walk.  Breathe.

Thank you, Powers of the Worlds, human and incorporeal. Wife, friends, the earth, the gods.  And you, my readers, for all good thoughts. (It feels good to thank, to be grateful.  An annual holiday for it isn’t often enough, of course.  Daily.)

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Posted 30 November 2011 by adruidway in blessing, creativity, Druidry, fiction, nanowrimo, writing

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6 responses to “Nano Finale

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  1. Huge congratulations on finishing on time! Good luck with the editing after the much deserved break. 🙂

  2. Woot, woot! Yay you! Congratulations on a job well done! 🙂

  3. First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself
    and clear your head prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Tyler,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Freewriting helps. Just write whatever comes. Clearing out the daily mind-stuff by writing it means you don’t have to carry it any more. You can save your daily freewrites, or discard them when you’re done. Sometimes, especially if you keep up the practice, it can end up generating some genuinely weird and wonderful material — actually usable ideas for stories, poems, etc. I’ve seen it happen again and again, with me and with my students.

      Meditation also helps, and so does physical activity. I find a good jog or even just a half-hour walk brings me back fresh and focused. I almost always notice something that sparks an idea.

      Writing regularly also helps. Trust that what comes needs to come, and get it down. That’s your first job. After all, nobody else ever needs to see it. Come back to the freewrite later and you may see a fragment of dialog, a character, a description — any number of things you can salvage and use. And eventually your freewrites can become your “real” writing. But the job is just to get it down on screen or paper.

      Nanowrimo is good practice in working with what comes. You just write. Banging out the 1666 words each day is a good way to get past worrying “is it any good?” You just write. As Annie Lamott says in her book Bird by Bird, expect “shitty first drafts.” They give you material for good second drafts and marvelous third drafts, which you just can’t get any other way.

      Hope this helps.
      Best wishes,
      A Druid Way

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