Yesterday I was horribly distracted* and kept procrastinating almost until the last minute, and wrote 400ish words at 11:30 pm. Still, the scene was surprisingly coherent for the story, so I’ll take it. I avoided the lure of rewrites, and focused on what the story should be doing based on those future rewrites.
The full implication of having future rewrites hit me yesterday. It would mean finishing the story first, rewriting the beginning and *then* editing to make sure it all worked. And then more rewrites. And then it would be DONE.
Folks, I’ve never, ever, rewritten anything. Generally the idea of it fills me with dismay. So why the hell am I actually contemplating it now? This is just a story I thought up to fit the bill, it’s not even on my I Love This Story list.
I honestly think the answer is in finding a writing pace that is actually workable for me. The official NaNoWriMo wordcount in November is 50k. That’s 1,667 words a day (not including any overage you put in to make sure that when you validate your novel, their counter doesn’t peg you at 49,995). Only the camps let you put in your own wordcount goal, and their reasons are good ones for keeping to the 50k. It’s just taken me this fucking long to realize that maybe the reason I burn out after Nano is that I need to write more slowly.
Sigh. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself; anxiety has a way of keeping me from doing things that might scare or hurt me. It’s just hard to realize I could have been doing this years ago.
Anyway, I set my camp nano goal at 25,000. That’s 833.33333 words a day. Despite the highs and lows of daily writing, I’ve consistently written above that, so a more accurate goal would have been 30,000. I could have changed it but didn’t because just the thought of it made me uneasy. Which didn’t seem worth it. Better to just surpass the wordcount.
But the whole thing has altered my perceptions about how I write. Now I’m looking at August and wondering if I can keep writing without the competition of Camp Nano to nudge me forward. And I’m looking at November with a lot more anxiety; now that I know I’m better at a lower word pace, will I be able to give up ‘winning’ in November for the sake of my story? Or will I give in and write 50,000 words because seeing myself fall consistently behind on the progress bar is going to upset me. And don’t suggest not doing it at all; that would feel like giving up my favourite holiday!
*I’m addicted to tumblr and bejeweled.