Day Ten of Nanowrimo
So funny thing. That neck injury was not something to mess around with. I lost my mojo for a few days but now I’m back. I am behind on my writing by about two thousand words, which isn’t so bad considering that I lost three writing days.
Writing days. I’ve made a pact with three other people that we’ve been holding one another to since June. The rules are as follows: Write a minimum of 350 words a day every day. You are allowed two “skip” days a week but you must plan for them and write double the number of words on the day before. If you miss days without planning or if you “skip” more than two days a week you owe one dollar per transgression. Since June my amount of money owed is up to $28, which I think is fairly respectable since there was a vacation in there as well as a couple of other unforeseen bumps in the road. Case in point: neck injury.
Three hundred and fifty words is a very small number, less than a page single-spaced. When I was writing fan fiction I blew that number out of the water by five or six times on a daily basis. But that is one of the perks of writing fan fiction. It is what I have come to think of as lite-writing. It is not that I think of it as poor writing, but rather it is hyper-focused on one aspect. In my case the focus was on characterization, or more specifically, character motive.
Over the past ten days, as I’ve struggled to come up with 5,980 words of my own original work, I’ve been reminded of how truly hard it is to write something from the ground up. And I’m not swinging for the fences here…I am well aware of the fact that I am writing a very shitty first draft. A texturized setting with characters that matter driven to act by conflict that isn’t boring or cliched all teetering on the tightrope of a storyline…yeah, it’s a lot harder than writing fan fiction.
To be fair I am speaking only of myself here. I’ve certainly read fan fiction where the authors were swinging for the fences, and though the characters and story lines weren’t “theirs” per se, they worked to make them their own. In other words I’ve read fan fiction that was not hyper-focused or an exercise in anything. Some of it is unique and inspiring on a level that is book-worthy.
So as I’ve transitioned from writing 350 words a day to a 1000 words a day for nanowrimo AND writing original work as opposed to fan fiction here is what I’ve learned: I can’t leave it to the end of the day. Waiting until my child and husband are asleep does not work for the level of brainpower required. This is difficult since I also work. So I’m left with odd little slivers of time. Early morning after coffee; the hour between work ending and class beginning; while I’m making dinner. Sometimes I write during my lunch break and a little bit after (shh). I’ve befriended the voice memo feature on my phone. I make a million little notes to myself during the day. It certainly is not the ideal situation, but it is the best I can do for now.
I’m trying to think…what would be the ideal writing situation? Without losing all of the other important things in my life…what would that even look like?