Yesterday I had to come to terms with the fact that there is no way I’m going to make it to 50.000 words till next Friday. This will mean that I won’t officially win at NaNoWriMo, but I strongly refuse to say I lost or failed. Because I started writing a freaking novel after all. And more important I will continue to do that until I’ve reached the 50.000 words an beyond, because this story isn’t done in 50.000 words. At the moment it feels more like I will need 500.000 words :-)
It wasn’t easy to admit that I won’t reach my goal this time (you notice how I avoid the term “admit defeat” *g* because I don’t feel defeated). Yes, I sometimes beat myself up a little for not really using all of my free time for writing. But I wrote on so many ocassions and as I’m a novize at this I learned a lot about me as a writer and that alone made these weeks worthwhile. I don’t write fiction as quickly as I would love to and that’s also one of the reasons I finally decided to not even try for the 50.000 anymore this year. Taking in account the free time I have till next Friday I would have had to write over 600 words/hour to reach the 50.000 goal. And that’s just impossible for me. I could do it if it were blog posts or stuff from my real life I’m writing about but fiction is such a different thing to write. I learned that very quickly.
Maybe it will change over time, but at the moment it still takes a long time for the story I see play out in my head to make it from being thoughts in my mind to my fingers on the keyboard and then to words on the screen. It’s one thing to “see” the scene and to describe it to others in a way they see the same or at least their version of the same scene.
I also learned that my process of writing seems to be one of creating the core and then building the story all around it. For the first two weeks I tried to write chronologically and I also tried (and mostly failed) to not just write the core scenes but also to include atmosphere and setting and all the things that distinguish a novel from a TV script. I’m exaggerating, I know, but my creative writer’s mind obviously can only focus on one aspect of story telling. And at first I choose to focus on the core scenes or at least the characters and their actions and thoughts and how they interact with each other.
I am determined to continue writing this first draft of this story at my pace. Hopefully I will get some more writing done until next Friday and boost my word count a bit, but even after that I will try to finish this story. And I know it will need a lot of work, because of the way I’m writing but I’m determined to write and edit and work on it on my own pace. And if that means I won’t finish until 2015, so be it.
I had and still have fun writing this. I love thinking about it and about making it all up in my mind. I love that I can put my tendency to daydream to a good use that way :-) I loved the creative process of figuring out how to transform my thoughts or images from my mind to words on screen. I have no idea if my writing is good or if it sucks, but I don’t care at the moment. Because I have fun doing it and that’s all that matters, right?
I learned that I can’t be creative when I’m under pressure and these last few days at work have just taken a toll on me. Next week won’t be much easier so I need this weekend to recharge and as much as I loved writing I also felt a bit stressed because of the 50.000 words goal. Once I had made up my mind I immediately felt more relaxed and that was proof that I was stressing out too much about NaNoWriMo. I sometimes tend to do that, to put too much unnecessary pressure on me and then beat myself up when I can’t live up to my own expectations. So yesterday I decided to take a step back and not write today. Although I might work on my story for a few minutes later today. I don’t know yet. It just feels good to not feel pressured about it.
Will I ever finish this story without pressure or will this be one of the many promises I make to myself and then not keep after all? Promises 2012 anyone :-( ? I don’t know. I think I might need to find a new writing routine or a fixed schedule. To make time for writing. Just like I need and (once again) plan to make time for some other stuff. Writing the last huge assigment for my last grad school class which is due in March. Making up my mind what want to write my last termpaper and the master thesis about. Making time for working out at the gym again or to take up any other kind of exercise. So much stuff I will need to schedule time for. But I’m once again determined to make it all work. Without too much pressure, I hope…