Okay. Yes. I did decide to take the 50,000 word challenge, and no one made me do it. However, sometimes it feels more like punishment than productivity. So far, I have managed to generate 35,000 words toward my novel, Manistique, and I would like to convey some of my disoveries:
- I have never written as unconsciously. Now, I am far from the most self-critical author out there. I have always felt drafts in particular should just get puked onto the page. But I never really wrote the way I am writing now, with judgement suspended. If a scene occurs to me, I write it, and I don’t worry about how it fits in or whether it makes. I need words, and so I write, knowing I can go back and write later.
- I have never set out to write something with a very strong sense it may never see the light of day. I have always written knowing that I would put out whatever I write myself, and projects always started from a particular passion– to explore gender roles, to investigate love. This one started from a contest, and I have no idea if what I am producing is anything I will want my name attached to in the end. This is liberating, though I am not sure I would do it again.
- Habit. I have published over 200,000 words this year, so i do write, but I have always allowed myself days off. With Nanowrimo, a day off leads to a massive need to catch up, so I have written on all the days, even the busy ones where I “couldn’t find the time” in the past. It feels good.
- Inspiration happens when I type. Many of the days leading to my 35,000 words have started with me having no idea what to write and little desire to start, and yet I have churned out 2,000 words just as assuredly as on the days I am jazzed.
Bottom line takeways? All those writing books and seminars got it right. Write everyday whether you feel like it or not. It’s good for the soul and the brain if not always the neck and shoulders!