Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Back in the real world again

The National Novel writing month (November) is over now, and I am slowly catching up on my sleep. The challenge was to write 50,000 words, approximately 150 pages... and I managed to achieve 38,000. I was doing really good until week 3, Thanksgiving week. My stepdaughter spent Thanksgiving with us, and we spent many evenings staying up late talking - so my daily word count dropped from 1600 down to 600-800 words. No problem, I knew I could still catch up during the final week. I didn't want to miss out on the time with my stepdaughter because for the first time ever, she was really interested in and asking questions about the Bible, about different religions, and spiritual matters. She has been going to a Christian youth group with a friend of hers from school, even went to a weekend Bible camp. I gave her a "teen study Bible" and she was really pleased with it because she said she'd been trying to the read the Bible, but a lot of it was confusing to her. The teen study Bible includes questions teens frequently ask and Biblical applications for problems teens frequently face, so she really liked that. I am thrilled! It is so exciting to see her interested in spiritual matters and searching for the Truth. I wish she could have stayed longer so we could have talked some more.

But after Thanksgiving I had almost 5000 words to catch up on, and only a week left! If I averaged in those extra 5000 words, my daily word count needed to get bumped up to 2100 words a day. I was excited though, because I'm the type that can really perform when the pressure is on... and if the pressure is only for a short period, like a week. Writing like crazy caused my imagination to go into overdrive, and my novel was really taking shape... by week 4, I was in the homestretch, with about 90% of the novel behind me, just a few chapters left to go!
Then, I got sick!! The nasty stomach virus thing caught up with me, plus I was already running on severe sleep deprivation... my motivation to meet that 50,000 word goal quickly evaporated. I ended up only writing less than 1,000 words that last week.

But despite the disappointing end, NANOWRIMO was an incredible experience, and I'll definitely be trying it again next year, plus I'll be trying to talk all my writing friends into trying it, as well. The NANOWRIMO organizers would send out great motivational emails every week, plus lots of tips and tricks to "keep writing" and make your daily word count goal. One tip was to get together with a writing buddy and have "word wars". That's where you race against a stopwatch to see who could produce the most words in say, a half hour. Then you do another word war, and another, till 2 hours have passed and you have miraculously written over 2,000 words (even though your buddy still beat by typing 2002 words, so what? You just exceeded your word count for the day).

I have promised myself I'm not going to look back over what I've written until I've finished the book. I only have a few more chapters to go. FINISH IT! Then I will take the time to go back and start editing it. When you are racing to create vast quantities of words in a short period of time, there is sure to be lots of junk that needs to edited, or perhaps even deleted. But right now, I'm still in production mode. I'll save editing mode for 2008. And, hopefully sometime in 2008, I'll be able to get a good start on my NEXT novel. (and finish it by November, thanks to NANOWRIMO).

Now... I need to reaquaint myself with my husband and my kids and my poor neglected horses... oh yeah, and my poor neglected vacuum cleaner.

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