NaNo 2012: Day 12

Nano Participant 2012So…NaNo. My update this time is not all that hopeful, but I still plan to pull it together and make my 50k. I’m running about three days behind now after a weekend spent in dark glasses on the couch because of a severe migraine. Timing is everything.

However, that’s not the real reason I’m so far behind. I have been struggling from the start for one simple reason: I’m writing this story pure organic style, something I haven’t done in a long time.

NaNo for me is about learning, and relearning, how I work best. The thing about being an organized organic is that I am perfectly capable of writing organically. However, when I did that, it took me a year to complete a novel. The result was no less of a solid first draft. The only difference is the time.

I’m a multitasker. I have no trouble, and in fact, function better when doing more than one discrete task. This ability does not translate well to writing though because the tasks are so interrelated. By failing to do the “thinking” phase on the novel in the outlining step where I let the plot build and the characters start to form, I am left doing that simultaneously to the “writing” phase when I’m putting down words in a storytelling voice.

It’s a bit like patting yourself on the head while rubbing your belly. I can do that too, but it takes a bit to ramp up, and the minute I get distracted, I lose the rhythm. It’s not a matter of being able to do different things with each hand–heck, I’m a guitar player so I have that down–but the ability to do different but similar things. This is why I’m struggling.

Every once in a while, I’ll click in and get 300-500 words in a half hour, but then it fades again to two separate processes stepping all over each other.

I have very limited writing time this year, and so being unprepared was far from wise. However, this is a lesson I clearly needed to learn…again. I have some tight deadlines this week, but once they’re past, I’m making a concerted effort to get back into the game.

So, how are you doing? Are you like me, holding on to hope despite slipping word counts? It’s too early to give up. One good week and all this could be behind us.

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8 Responses to NaNo 2012: Day 12

  1. Shani says:

    Working on getting past 10 thousand here. Had a few bumps of creativity
    But I got it back and flying now.

  2. Erin says:

    The stats bar currently says I should finish on May 23rd. 😀 I love a challenge!

    Okay, that’s not *why* I’m so far behind. Like you, I’m making it up as I go along (something I’ve never managed to do with something novel length) and I have a ton of other things I’m juggling. But there’s always hope.

    (By the way, I double-checked the date this time before answering.)

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      I still say that was the Fates poking me about Sorcery and the Perfect Dress. May 23rd is quite a challenge. Maybe we should take a day to outline ;p.

  3. Anne Lyle says:

    I’m clinging to my daily targets by my fingernails – just made it over 20k last night!

    Writing without an outline has never worked for me – and yet, to quote the well-known aphorism, “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. The general plot remains the same, but the way it plays out tends to change as I write. So, I’m taking a leaf out of Rachel Aaron’s book and planning each scene immediately before I write it – that way I don’t spend hours staring at a blinking cursor 🙂

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      Congrats on keeping up :). I’ve fallen way behind at this point, but as soon as I clear my deadlines, I’m planning to change that.

      As far as forcing to the outline, I’ve never believed that. Even a very detailed outline for me is an exploration of possibilities and a fall back position if the characters wander off and get lost in the woods. If something better comes along, so be it. However, that’s exactly what put me in this pickle. But not refreshing my original outline, I was left with one that assumed the original path had been followed. OOPS ;).

      • Anne Lyle says:

        That’s why I try to keep my outlines loose now – that way I’m not wasting too much time planning scenes that I have to throw away because of a change earlier on. As you say, they’re a safety net, not a blueprint!

        • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

          Yeah, well, I don’t try with the outline. I just write down what comes to me, switch it about until the order is good, and go :). Sometimes that means a one line scene blurb, and sometimes a 500 word one.

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