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Archive for August 5th, 2011

My Life Raft

Final Word Count: Who knows?; Woops. Forgot about the journal entry

So I dug out and dusted off my copy of No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty (Founder of NaNoWriMo) and gasped in relief. It’s one thing to tell yourself you can be an atrocious novelist and as long as you put words down you’re doing okay but it’s something else altogether when you get permission from someone else.

I’ve always lived my life according to the permission I receive. Let me tell you, it’s not fun but it’s impossible to break away from. I absolutely LOVE this book and I highly recommend this to anyone who’s thinking of writing a book. Maybe it just works for me but I can’t see taking any more than 31 days to complete a significant piece. If I don’t have a time limit I dawdle, lose interest and generally get lazy and unmotivated. Therefore, this NaNoWriMo has been a creative lifesaver. (I write these posts in the same manner- I write what I want to at the moment, check the spelling and move on. I don’t even re-read anything!)

I re-read the pertinent bits and I’m going to get back in the saddle. It’s very daunting to realize how far behind I’ve fallen, but nothing is impossible. If I look back at last month, there were days when I wrote nothing (and that hasn’t happened yet so far) and the vast majority of days were under the 2,000 word mark. It’s really not as daunting as it seems, it’s just that this Western is completely unstructured. I have no outline, no notes to guide me, all I have is a rough direction to head towards dictated by my heroine’s past.

And I only have the protagonist and antagonist’s names- Eleanor Wentworth and José Valèz. Besides that I’m flying by the seat of my pants. Even though this is a state of life I frequently inhabit, prolonged exposure doesn’t make it any easier. I have to admit though, not knowing where i’ll end up on any given day is thrilling.

On the bus ride out to work I suddenly had the conviction that I’m going to succeed each month. I have no idea how but it’ll happen. Did I mention also that in September, Yesterday and I are going through our evaluation so she can become a therapy dog? That’s right! One more super exciting thing to add to my schedule of life. I am quickly becoming a firm believer that the more you have going on in life, the more enjoyable it is and the more time you actually have. Life can be funny like that.

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