Wrestling, Words and the Z.W.D. (NaNo Week Three)

Nano Progress Week 3

This week was an enlightening one for me- I feel like I’m learning a lot from my NaNo journey. As someone who grew up and ended up working in the Arts, I am prone to self-evaluation, and for the most part I think that has helped me grow. So, even though I am sitting here today, not having yet written my words for today, I decided that it was important to reflect on this week, and how it has unfolded. My writing is chugging along, and if I get in my words today I will be exactly on target for my personal goal, and still ahead of the NaNo goal. While I may not be one of the people validating my 50K just yet, I’m still on a roll. So here’s where I stand:

Total Word count: 42,037 (as of Saturday Morning)

Successes this week:
I have managed to stay ahead of the word counts, while still writing what I think are quality scenes. I am also hitting some of the more touchy subject matter in the story, and I believe that I have handled it with care. I’m trying to write a book that is about all the types of beautiful and diverse people that I’ve met- and although my protagonist may be a white girl from small town USA, I’m trying to show that when she leaves her small town, there is a world of people different from her- and they aren’t alien. But rather, human and real. It’s something I’ve personally experienced, and I think it is important to write about- sometimes a book can open someone’s mind and heart, if they haven’t been able to go out into the world themselves.

Struggles this week:
This week I hit a part of my outline that was pretty vague… essentially it said: “Discovery of The Sister” and then, “Introduction of ‘this character'” followed by, “Introduction of ‘this other character'”. Brilliant.

Although I knew what had to happen, I hadn’t decided HOW to show this to my audience. So instead of being able to focus on writing the scenes and making them strong, I was worried about where we were and what we were doing. This made the writing so. dang. slow.

So finally, after a day of agonizing writing that was like wading through molasses to get from word to word, I made myself a cup of tea, and sat on the couch with my husband. I started to talk it through. What did my characters want? What would they be doing to get that? What was it like where they were? By asking these questions, and with the occasional comment from the husband (who was pretty wrapped up playing Skyrim to be honest) I figured out where I was going with the outline. So then I sat down and typed up the basic idea for about the next 5 or 6 scenes that I had to write.

The next morning, I was back in the groove. I could picture the scene and live in it, so that I was just writing what I saw happen. It was wonderful.

Inspirations and Surprises:
I think the most important thing that I’ve learned this week is that sometimes it’s okay to take a break. I’ve always been an overachiever and someone who would literally push myself to the breaking point (and end up sick) to achieve a goal. This week started out difficult, but I took a day off to travel with the school’s wrestling team to a tournament in Bethel (I will blog about this after November!) and -gasp- didn’t write a SINGLE WORD on Friday. The dreaded NaNoWriMo Z.W.D. (Zero Word Day) And Surprise; It didn’t kill me. I’m not drowning in good old Catholic guilt. I am sitting down today, and I’m going to write, with a clearer mind, and excited again about my project. Like everything, persistence is important but you can overtax yourself- taking a break is okay- as long as you make sure you get back to work!

Thanks for checking in with me! How is your NaNo Journey coming? What struggles or surprises did you face in the third week? Did you hit the goal yet?? Let’s continue the conversation below!

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