On October 31, I had no intention of writing a novel at any point in the foreseeable future. Then, on November 1, I signed up for NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. Because I? Like to fly by the seat of my pants, people.
So, yeah. I’m writing a novel. In fact, I’m almost-but-not-quite halfway done with the 50,000 words I’m supposed to have written by the end of the month. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.
I get really bitchy when I’m stuck—Friday night found me throwing tantrums on twitter and stomping around the house—all because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story next.
Things go better when I just. let. go. I am something of a control freak. I tend to want everybody and everything to do things my way. But when I try to force the words? It just doesn’t work. I’m having to get in touch with my inner Zen mama to get this done.
My attention span is longer than I thought—For years, my excuse for not writing a novel has simply been that I get bored too quickly. Turns out, I can focus for longer than it takes to wash my hair (if I really want to).
The act of writing something completely different gives me fresh perspective. Probably because I’m not currently requiring myself to come up with a new post every night, I find myself with more post ideas than I have time to write. I think that’s what you call a Catch 22 situation.
I am not in charge of the story. I thought I knew where I wanted to go. And I still know where I want to end up. But the things that happen along the way? Are constantly surprising me. It’s kind of like life, that way…
I can’t stand to talk about a work in progress. As a copywriter, I’m always having to talk through my ideas with people. But this? This is different. My hackles go up whenever my husband expresses an interest in what I’m doing. If I keep this up for too long, I’m likely to become a hermit.
My competitive streak comes in handy. Over on my NaNoWriMo page, I can see the word counts for all of my writing buddies. And when they get too far ahead? I get cranky. I don’t like to be beaten, damn it.
So those are the not-so-deep life lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 days. And that’s all I’ve got. Have I mentioned that writing this much is very tiring?
Because it is. Please add coffee to the list of things you can send me.