If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably know that I survived NaNoWriMo.org’s competitive novel writing extravaganza. More than that, I finished the fool thing. 50,000 words. 30 days. Huzzah!
Before it all began, I’d been scared to death of fiction. That’s because, for me, non-fiction articles are pretty easy to write. You find the story (or accept the one handed to you by a very nice editor), do the interviews, type up the interviews, and then let the creative muse do her thing.
Well, that’s how it works for me anyway.
But with this fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants write 1700 words a day thing, there was no lollygaggin’ about waitin’ for the muse. No siree. Get up and get crankin’ with the computer–or else lose ground and fall behind.
By the end of November, I had a very bad first draft of a lame first novel. There were holes in that sucker’s narrative big enough to park a semi. But the plot, the words, the misspellings are all mine, mine, mine. Every. damn. one. of. them. Okay, except for those sentences that I overheard during the course of the day and scrawled down thinking, “Hey, maybe I could work that into a scene?” (Finders=keepers, y’all.)
Before the contest, I thought the victory was to be found solely in the word count. Wrong-o bong-o.
The habit was the prize. Dedicating myself to writing at a set time with a set time every day (okay, some nights) gave me a sense of mission, of duty even. I felt a buzz that’s been called “flow” by psychologists.
Guess what? I miss it.
Because now that it’s done and life has returned to “normal,” I’ve lost my focus and my “excuse.” It was so convincing for me to say to (CHOOSE ONE: me, myself, my friends, my family) that “I’m working on my contest.” Much harder to find the motivation “to work on my messy novel.”
How many months until Script Frenzy starts?