If you are following me on NaNo, you might have noticed my word count leapt yesterday. It’s not because I miraculously wrote ten thousands words in a day, although I’m still going to succeed in doing that someday. Instead I decided that rather than give up on NaNo, which is what I usually do about now, I would aim for writing 50,000 words in the month, regardless of where those words wind up living (or even if they wind up living at all).
So I made myself a little spreadsheet and totaled up all the words from blog posts in the first half of the month. In the second half of the month, I’ll be counting blog posts, plus all the words in my draft versions. My final total for the month in real story words is probably not going to be anywhere near 50K but it’ll be interesting to see how many I get when I count all the words I write. I’m behind now — nowhere close to the 30K I should be about to hit — but I suspect that I’ll be able to catch up and swing on past the 50K goal without too much difficulty. I believe that tight writing is a good thing — every word should reveal character or move the story forward — and that’s just not compatible with NaNo goals. Writing tight and writing 2K words a day are mutually exclusive, at least for me.
And it stresses me out to be failing in a way that doesn’t motivate me. Every time I’ve tried NaNo previously, I’ve wound up barely writing at all. I started A Gift of Thought during NaNo and it took me another six months to finish that book. Then last year I started A Gift of Grace and here I am, a year later, still working on the same project. Back when I was writing fanfiction and there was absolutely no pressure or motivation outside of the pleasure of writing, I wrote a lot faster and a lot more prolifically. And if those stories were bad, that would be okay, but I can reread them now and still find them pretty good. Not perfect, but fun reads. It would be nice if NaNo convinced me to write like that again, but instead I shut down. Alas.
Speaking of fanfiction, I reread my unfinished Amy & Rory story (Doctor Who) recently — probably because I got some message from fanfiction.net and was at the site — and I should really have finished that story. I know why I stopped — it’s because I started doing research on the era (NYC, 1938) and discovered that I’d already gotten too much wrong in terms of race relations — but I should have adopted the “abandon reality” motto and kept on going. I stopped writing when Amy & Rory were headed off to a jazz club and I can practically picture the scene, the crooning singer, the glittery dresses, the behind-the-scene tensions, Amy being forthright and direct and Rory hanging back, but swinging in to rescue her the moment she’s in trouble… ah, they were fun characters.
I stopped watching Doctor Who a while ago, when I realized that I’d stopped getting angry (translation: I’d stopped caring), but I wonder if it has regained its sense of fun? I guess I don’t wonder enough to try again, but maybe over Christmas. R and I spent a few years watching Doctor Who on Christmas Day, so maybe we’ll do a marathon this year and get caught up on what we’ve both missed. Or perhaps not. Last year we watched movies and that was fun. Mine was Kiki’s Delivery Service and I would happily make watching it every year part of my holiday tradition. It’s not exactly Christmas-y, but it is charming.
Wow, and this is a wandering post. But that’s the price of daily blogging. 🙂
On to story words. I still haven’t finished the chapter I’ve been writing for the past nine days, but maybe today will be the day. No, wait — I’m thinking positive, right? — today WILL be the day. Many words, flowing happily!