Tuesday, November 09, 2010

On week two of NaNo

This is the first year I've ever done National Novel Writing Month. Probably will not be the last. I've always done well when our local RWA chapter runs its Book in Six Weeks program - always taken the #2 slot for highest page count...except last year when it was #1. I have challenged the gal who normally takes the #1 slot to a race for the crown this year.

I do good under pressure. Scratch that. I do great under pressure. Give me too much to do and an impossible deadline under which to do it, and I will pull it off. Friends and family need only hear mention of a certain outing which included double caregiver duties, people with initials after their names, a Chinese restaurant and playing luggage Tetris in a rental car with its own curfew all while feeling like something worse than poo, to know this is true. If I can do that, I can do my favorite thing - tell emotionally complex stories of love long ago. Easy peasy, right?

My normal NaNo day goes something like this:

*wake to alarm playing the Smurf theme, grumble.
*weigh benefits of beginning day against benefits of remaining next to slumbering DH beneath flannel sheets.
*remember that NaNo does not understand warm sheets and warm spouses and the good seats at Panera fill quickly.
*get out of bed, tend personal needs.
*remember that I am indeed a morning person and become annoyingly chipper.
*survey contents of closet and remind self that everything being too big means I am on track with fitness plan.
*remind self that leaving the house means I can play with makeup and jewelry. Get dressed.
*collect purse and computer and head to Panera
*secure preferred seating area, purchase tea and bagel. Multitask tea preparation and computer setup.
*remind self I do know how to write. Refer to own backlist as proof.
*open file, refer to story notebook if needed. Put *something* on the page.
*pound keys in plodding and meandering fashion. Acknowledge big, hairy mess.
*compulsively check word count. Confidence grows as number gets higher.
*continue pounding keys until time to catch ride. Update word count at NaNo site.
*give screen lingering, wistful look because stopping right now borders on painful. Swear to come back at same level in the morning.
*do other stuff, go home and watch Bones reruns, then fall asleep next to a good book.


Aamba said...

Good for you! I look forward to hearing how it goes. I tried NaNo once and it completely crushed me. I am a planning kind of writer, I am unable to just start writing and "see where it takes me."

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

Aamba, I'm a planner, too. It's perfectly fine to work from an outline for NaNo. Prep work is encouraged. If I had to start from nothing, I'd be lost and crushed, too.