Greetings to you all from the beginning of Week 3 in NaNoWriMo! I have to say, this month’s writing has gone a lot better than it has for quite a while. You may have noticed that my last few entries (although few and far between) contained a note of despondency. Or maybe a healthy dose of it. Or perhaps entire buckets of the stuff. At any rate, I’d essentially stalled out on Ravens and Roses, which I’ve been working on pretty much non-stop for longer than I care to remember. I know that I swore (again) that I’d have a finished draft at the end of this year (sound familiar?) and I still might. It just may not be the project I was expecting it to be.
My 2015 NaNo project, “code-named” AFiLaW (pronounced A-F-I-Law), also referred to as All’s Fair, has gained a lot of momentum, despite containing two genres that I’ve never worked with before: Romance and Steampunk. I’ll admit that at this point the prose is a little light on both; I keep forgetting to add steampunk descriptive details and I haven’t touched the sex scenes. In fact, I may decide not to write any of the latter at all. Scenes with that particular kind of intimacy are alien to me, and every piece of advice I can find about writing in the romance genre says: “If you are uncomfortable writing sex scenes, then don’t write them because your discomfort will show through.” So we’ll see. Still, even with those quibbles, I’ve been writing at least 1,000 words each day and often pass the 1,500- and 2,000-word marks. That’s practically unheard of for me; I don’t recall doing that well even when I began Ravens and Roses in earnest back in 2010 for my first NaNo.
I think the reason I’ve been doing so well lately is threefold:
- As you probably noticed, I switched projects. For some time, I’ve been afraid that perhaps I was slipping back into depression, despite the meds. My creativity had flat-lined, but I was doing well with energy and motivation in all of my other daily tasks, so that didn’t quite make sense. Switching tracks to something that I’m not as deeply invested in was exactly what I needed to lure the muse back into my clutches—I mean, company.
- I’m getting up earlier. No, I’m not really a morning person; never considered myself one. But I took advantage of the fact that my cats don’t know what Daylight Savings Time is, so they’ve continued demanding breakfast at what feels like 7:30am to them, although for me it’s 6:30am. Having that extra hour in the morning to do my exercises and write has really paid off. If I get my word quota done before, during, or just after breakfast, I can relax the rest of the day. Any writing beyond that is a bonus that I take advantage of when the mood strikes me.
- I’ve got so much motivation thanks to LeNoWriCha and my new writers’ group. LeNoWriCha is my daily goal that breaks almost overwhelming challenge of NaNoWriMo into manageable chunks. (Seriously, if you’re a writer and haven’t tried the Legendary Novel Writing Challenge yet, do it. It’s fantastic.) And now I have a face-to-face support system as well. Every Sunday this November we have a set time and meting place; whoever can make it shows up. It’s a small group that fluctuates between 4 and 7 people, all of whom are good friends of mine. (Even better, it includes my fellow Pens in Space people! We haven’t been able to have separate Pens meetings lately due to scheduling conflicts and energy drain.) Not everyone is doing NaNo; not everyone is even currently writing. But we’re all creative, we get along, and it’s so nice to be around people whom you would trust to read your work and not laugh while giving constructive feedback. I haven’t actually shared any of what I’ve written for NaNo yet, but if we keep meeting past November, I may get to that point.
In short, I’m excited. I’m making steady progress, and I’m really looking forward to the near future when All’s Fair will be ready to spread its wings and fly off into the world of Submissions. See you on the other side! Until then, keep writing! In fact…