Saturday, November 7, 2015

NaNoWriMo Day 7 - Hitting the Wall

In order to write 1667 words a day for 30 days, I've had to spread out my writing time into three sessions per day. I find myself waking up at 5:30 AM lately. Not on purpose, but rarely have I ever have the luxury of being woken up by the alarm. So I pick up my tablet and use this time to write. It's nice because the kids aren't awake, I'm in my nice warm bed, and the only distractions are my gargling stomach and my fantasy basketball scores. I can pump out 500-800 words before I start my day.

The second writing session is during my lunch break. The third is at bed time. Lunch is always the most difficult time to write because I'm in work mode. There are also more distractions like customer calling in, fantasy basketball scores, or a Tupperware full of leftovers.

Before I go to bed can also be difficult. Distractions include children, fantasy basketball scores, and sleep.

Except for the nighttime session (sometimes) I get no more than an hour each time. I have to write fast and I cannot be concerned with the quality of my writing.

"What's that?" you say, "Isn't the quality of your writing important?"

Well...no...it's not. Not on a first draft at least.

What non-writers don't understand (and what I didn't understand for a long time) is that the first draft never looks good. In fact, your final draft may have little resemblance to the thing that gave birth to it. Of the two short stories I've now published, neither of them resemble much of the first draft. Over the course of three years (each) I tweaked them, rewrote them, gave up on them, resurrected them, rewrote them again, tweaked some more, and then finally showed them to someone. For a beginning writer, the first draft is almost always trashed and no sentence remains the same. But the more experienced you become, the better your first drafts become and the writing process becomes shorter.

So, on day 7 of NaNoWriMo I find myself facing a wall of frustration.
I now have written about 10,000 words of my novel and most of it will be tossed. By the time I complete the final draft I will likely have written 200,000+ words to get what I hope will be a 75,000 word novel. It's frustrating to know I'll be throwing out almost everything I write and the little burst of creativity I felt at the beginning is gone. What keeps me going is a desire to see the final product, even though I know it could be years away.

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