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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

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MyNoRevMo

Tomorrow is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), during which participants attempt to write a 50000-word novel in 30 days. Anyone who finishes is a winner regardless of the quality of the product. Success is in the doing, not what is written, which makes perfect sense considering a writer’s failure usually comes from not doing enough writing. I know too many would-be writers who just don’t take/make time to practice writing.

That was true for me for years, and I credit my participation last year in NaNoWriMo with helping me start to figure out how to make time for practice and to push through the first draft of a big project. Actually, I bent the rules a little. You’re supposed to write a novel from scratch, but I focused on the third part of a novel I had already started. I did start that part from scratch and played along as much as I could, imagining that the piece could be a novel of its own. I ended up with a novel-length draft of that part with a lot of material to play with.

This year I’m not going to be able to join the NaNoWriMo fun. I’m chest deep in the second draft of my novel. I’ve been working on it almost every day, the kind of pace I kept up last November. But it’s difficult to quantify my daily results. It’s not the kind of work that requires a word-count goal. I’m cutting and revising what’s in the first draft, and although I’m adding a scene here and there, there are no empty spots within the narrative that could justify devoting a month to exploring 50000 words’ worth of possibilities.

After far too many years, I’m learning to deal with my process, which fits my particular strengths and needs. I don’t proceed in linear fashion from beginning to end. I’m bouncing around, but for me, that’s a well organized process. I’m deepening the story and characters. I just need to put in my time every day, and because I’m enjoying the work, I make sure to do it.

I’m on a roll, so I’d best keep rolling. For me, November will be My Novel Revising Month (MyNoRevMo)–one of many, and hopefully one of the last for this draft. If all goes well, I’ll celebrate the new year with a freshly completed second draft.

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5 Responses

  1. inspiring post.
    Oh how I wish my process and I could get along.. We are currently separated.
    There always seems to be a third party getting involved. This typically causes a lot of problems. Enough interruptions and my process just gets stubborn and then takes off with my material.
    Until i am in a place of knowing I can be there, smooth and steady, my process doesn’t return.
    I will show your post to my process. I think it may help.

    • I’ve definitely felt my own version of what you’ve described. What changed for me was when I committed to a minimum, completely doable amount of time per day to write and just did it–not how much seemed like I *should* do but rather how much I could fit into my life. Anything was better than nothing. Then at least I knew if I had a bad day of writing I’d be able to try again the next day, which made me feel more comfortable with playing and practicing. I hope you and your process get back together soon. You really do need each other. Good luck!

  2. […] Comments j3black on MyNoRevMothe dead feminist on MyNoRevMoJane Kokernak on MyNoRevMochildofagodunseen on Words Tend to Fail When […]

  3. […] and distractions from real life, I feel as if I’ve trudging through mud during most of MyNoRevMo. Better to keep going than give up, so I’ll keep […]

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