As you might have guessed, writing 50,000 words in 30 days is challenging on more than one level. Â There’s finding the time to write – hopefully uninterrupted time – and there’s also the matter of finding 50,000 words to write.
This is my fourth time doing NaNoWriMo and I’ve learned something important every time. Â Today’s lesson is: Â I sometimes run out of words. Â Well, clearly not, since I’m writing some here. Â I am temporarily out of words for my novel. Â I’m a little burnt out, a little weary. Â The last few days, finding words has felt like digging in the garden for those last few potatoes: Â they are increasingly tiny and you have to spend more time finding them.
I expressed my exhaustion and frustration to my sweetheart this morning and she offered a bit of advice from Miss Moira – a sadistic and exacting top who shares space in her skin:
“Take a day off.”
And so I am. Â I’m taking a day off to do other things, to work and daydream and give my characters and story some space. Â They were definitely feeling crowded and put upon yesterday. Â It’s alright to take a day off, even during NaNoWriMo. Â I’ll be less than a thousand words behind since I’ve been running a little over quota the past 16 days.
Additionally, I am doing something else creative today: Â participating in the inaugural StoryOly event, which involves getting up on stage and telling a story in 8 minutes or less on a pre-determined topic. Â I should say I’m hoping to participate, since it will be based on my name being drawn from a hat with a bunch of other names in it. The theme, fittingly, is ‘First Times’ and I will come prepared with a story about my first kiss.
In the bigger picture, this is a good lesson learned. Â One of my goals for this years writing marathon has been to determine a writing schedule that is sustainable and productive. Based on where I am now, I think that means taking every 3rd or 4th day off of mandatory writing and doing something that is restful and provides creative intake. Â Reading, watching a movie, daydreaming out a window, getting together with friends are all good options I think. Â I also need planning time, research time, and sitting and thinking time.
So that’s what today is… a day off from NaNoWriMo2015. Â I’m going to memorize my story (oh yeah, can’t use notes AND it’s a competition with judges) and deal with work and start out the window at the leaves and the rain and the clouds behind the naked trees.
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