Halfway through writing my 50,000 required words, I wanted to quit. Not because it was too hard, or I didn’t know what to write, or anything that included writer’s block.
I wanted to edit.
The whole reason I started NaNoWriMo this year was to get myself writing without editing so I could get into a proper creative flow that was unlike the process I had adopted halfway through 2013. I made a goal this year to try to aim for at least 70,000 (I made it to 55,537). I generally start a little early so I have a proper structure to work within.
Like magic, my characters wanted different things. Leanora and Dex made choices I hadn’t planned, their futuristic world turned in a way I hadn’t thought of ahead of time. And I was excited. I wanted to make the words describing them beautiful also. But, there was NO TIME!
I discovered, into the third week, I had to make the decision to speed up my WPM or continue half editing as I went along. It was a painful choice, but I was still lagging in the 30,000 word territory in week 3. Thanksgiving was calling and I know how my body doesn’t want to do anything once the holidays hit, and who wants to be stressed during a holiday?
NaNoWriMo is an exercise, a vehicle to learning to get your creative flow going. To putting the structure to paper, screen, etc…without letting your censor take over before it needs to. In addition, people who hate editing (Me!) learn that editing can actually be a lot of fun.
Breaks are important also with a new manuscript. Like a fine red wine, you have to let it breathe. You have to distance yourself from something you’re going to edit so you can see it with fresh and more objective eyes.
At least that’s my plan. Onward with Book #2 editing and Leaning the Wrong Way shall stay on the shelf until novels # 1 & # 2 are fully edited to my satisfaction.
Meanwhile, will I do NaNo next year? Absolutely! It’s good to flex your non-censor writing muscles once a year. And maybe, in 2015, right around the end of the school year, I might just do another NaNo project, just to keep those muscles strong and limbered up for the real thing!!!
There are just too many possibilities.