If you’re just jumping in and need background, I wrote a post here about why I’m going to write, edit, and publish a novella in the month of November.
Another week down, and I’m still on track. I’m almost done with the rough draft for The Crimson Ace – in fact, I’m expecting to finish it this week, which would be nice. That would give me two weeks to go back and do some editing, and this one will definitely need some editing. I mentioned at the start that I don’t want to agonize over comma placement and word choice, but at the same time, there’s a level of quality I’d like to hit, even in such a restricted timeframe.
One of the biggest things NaNoWriMo is reminding me of is just how much and how quickly I’m capable of writing. Adding in the self-imposed quota of 1,667 words per day has been a great motivator. I’ve stolen a pocket of time before bed and it the goal count. I’ve grabbed a moment between getting home from work and heading out for a date to make up lost time. It’s amazing how many words you can fit in ten minutes.
The Central Iowa NaNoWriMo group gets a lot of credit for that lesson. This is my second year doing NaNo, but my first to really plug in with a local group, and it’s been a great decision. One of the more frustrating ways people over-romanticize the writing life is by creating this narrative that writing is something that’s meant to be a solitary struggle. You lock yourself in your room, you suffer, and finally you churn out this piece of art that hasn’t been tainted by the outside world.
It sounds great, but that hasn’t been how it works for me.
Granted, I like to do most of my writing by myself, but there’s something about sitting in a room of people that occasionally chat about naming characters and adding interest to a dull stretch of plot, but mostly just write. You look around, and you see a ton of people who aren’t wasting time on Facebook, and it’s exactly the kick in the pants you need.
My biggest writing days of NaNoWriMo have been the days I went to write with others in this community, and that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. In every other aspect of my creative life, I’ve gotten better as I’ve created in community. I made huge strides in skill and creativity when I went from drumming along to Beatles CDs to drumming with worship bands. I learned how to hone my communication and tell jokes better when I started doing radio with more than just me in the studio.
And now, I’m learning how to write better and faster after I’ve started writing with other people.
So this is my week two update, but it’s also my encouragement to you: If you’re a creative person, find a way to create in community this week.
Crimson Ace: 17,536
Past blogs: 460
This blog: 509