Friday, November 06, 2009

Sleeping With My Characters and Other Upsides of the NaNo Effect

Though I’m only six days into the month-long frenzy called NaNoWriMo, a curious thing is happening along the way. I’m calling it the NaNo effect:

1. I’m feeling way guilty working on any writing that’s not NaNo related. Why? Because it's keeping me from making my 50,000 words by November 30th. The upside? More face time with my characters means I’m making my daily quota.

2. Today I expect to hit the 10,000 words mark after less than a week into the contest.

3. My back hurts from sitting so long in one place. The upside: I’ve returned to regular writer yoga stretches to work out the kinks. This practice in turn has led to a greater sense of clarity and confidence regarding my story, my characters, and life in general.

4. I’m sleeping with my characters. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went to bed and woke up with them right there beside me. At times, I feel a bit too much like Mork from Mork and Mindy. Not that this is all together a bad thing. It’s just that at times it feels like I’m straddling two worlds, which can lead to some interesting conversations if I’ve just come off a fight scene.

5. I can’t find the bottom of the sink. We’ve been known to do archaeological digs in our kitchen before, but it’s been a while. We’re now at the point where I need to buy paper plates sometime today. That or carve out a good half hour from my NaNo time.

6. NaNo is forcing me to budget my time more wisely, and giving me permission to say no when something comes up.

7. My characters come immediately when I call, no dillying or dallying. It’s amazing how close they are. With very little effort we resume conversations where we left off, or take up a sword and continue the fight. Very very cool.

8. My internal editor has gone silent. I attribute this to the NaNo process itself. When you need to write 1667 words a day there’s no time to question if it’s the perfect word. You just write down what comes to you and keep moving. Period. The end.

9. And then there are the nuggets. Amidst all the crap I’m generating, the cream is rising to the top!

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