It has indeed been an interesting week. I have both made great strides and had some challenges. But then, so has everyone else on the team too, I’m sure.
I’ve been managing a pretty brisk pace; I think I’m currently averaging about 2,600 words per day. Is the story perfect? Not even remotely, but as has been said before, that’s not really the point. I know I plan to put the story away for a couple months before I come back to it to decide if it warrants editing and submission. I think it will, but that distance will be necessary to make a (relatively) unbiased decision.
Still, I have had the occasion where I struggled a bit to get the words down. For example, I was a passenger for a 6-hour drive. I only managed 2,000 words. In 6 hours. Not great. Maybe my expectations are too high.
I’m still smiling as I write… and my wife says I’ve been much happier now that I’m forcing myself to write a little every night. But the best part of it all? I’ve been connecting with other writers who are participating in Nano too (over IRC so far, but I hope to finally make it to an event this weekend).
Believe it or not, people are the reason that I got into writing. I know what you’re thinking. Writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely pursuit. But that was still my reason.
It all started as silly stories for my friends. Then it grew as people started to enjoy the stories and actually start asking me about my writing (in case you’re wondering, I’m a bit of a diva ) Now, it’s all about the people I meet through my writing. Oh yeah, and the people (see characters) that I am able to create.
Those reasons won’t change the fact that most times it’s just you and your thoughts. When it’s just you versus the keyboard, it can be quite daunting. I think Yve’s post said it nicely. The ideas are there right up until the moment that you sit down and prepare to write them down. Then, poof, they’re gone.
This site is a perfect example of my point that writing is about people. My support structure is 1000 times better now that I’m contributing to SWN than it was before. The SWN crew are the best (yes even those of you who I haven’t met yet… we’ll remedy that Friday, I hope). I feel honored to share my writing adventures with them and with you. It helps me keep perspective.
And that’s what Nano has done for me too. It has grown my personal writing community. I would like to believe that everyone of the participants that I’ve been in contact with is pulling for everyone else (even when they look at the word count and say, damn I’m jealous. Mike’s at 30,000 and I’m only at 14,000 … not to mention any names… Sean…). I know it’s all in good fun.
So what happens when I hit 50,000 words? Likely, my story will be done. It was intended for a younger audience after all. But, I’ve noticed many other participants who start a second book and tack it to the first. I may start my outlining for the sequel to the first then.
Sean’s observation that the fact that I’ve already finished a book might make it easier to write this one; he’s absolutely right. It’s like many things in life, once you’ve done it the first time, you know you can do it again. I had a great run when I was in the home stretch with my first book. That momentum has carried on into Nano.
That’s why I think the ones who should be congratulated on their progress are the rest of the SWN team. Every single one of them has already achieved a personal best for shear word count. That’s impressive. And everyone one of them is a star for taking on the challenge when life is already busy. Kudos gents. I tip my hat to you all.