author’s note: nanowrimo
Posted by jeanne
well, nanowrimo’s over for another year, and i’ve got my 50,000 words in without having to cheat. yay.
in total, not counting the outline, which is all old work, i produced over 70 pages this month. 50,000 and a bit of change. much of it was publishable first draft, most of it was preliminary, versions, rewrites. that’s the thing about writing. much of it is deleted in the end. but i was counting output, and managed nicely, even with several days where i just sat and tore my hair out.
it’s been really fulfilling to do nanowrimo this year. i’ve done it since 2007, and it’s been a good way to discipline myself to write. but this time, when i’ve been working steadily on this story for over a year, it wasn’t incentive so much as confirmation. it was good to see that using my normal schedule, which is basically sitting at the typewriter all day, i’m putting out about a hundred pages a month. on the other hand, i’m also putting out approximately one 12-page chapter a month, and at this rate it’s going to take almost 4 years to finish the first draft. hard to imagine. and still i’m writing this story on faith, out of compulsion and not because anybody’s reading it, because they’re not. i’ve got one steady reader, and i’m not at all sure it’s not a robotracker keeping tabs on my seditious output.
ever since chapter 5 started to flow, i’ve had the most fun with it. at first it was the usual drag because of all the research i’ve taken it upon myself to include. but once i realized i was out of my depth altogether, and abandoned the research except as a guideline, and once i got the characters to talking – actually, once i realized tesla and reich were there in the background chatting the whole time – it all got to be very fun to write. i love transgressive characters, just like most of my friends and family. we’re all fucked up, and ain’t it grand.
so, now that i’m done focusing on 50,000 words a month, i can get back to allowing things to interrupt my work. for instance, i can go visit my kid and grandbaby, and check in on a sick friend of mine. and i can get into the back yard and transplant stuff. and i can write up a whole mess of information for an artshow. and i can make a few gifts for a family gathering coming up in the new year. i’m still writing, still working out problems with my characters, still learning what my characters are like. but i’m also going to the farmer’s market and a couple of openings, and now that nanowrimo’s over, i won’t complain so much when i have to leave my desk.