J (therealjae) wrote in nanonow,
J
therealjae
nanonow

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Oh, woe is me.

Today I toyed with the idea of giving up. Except that "toyed with" is a bad way of putting it, since it sounds way too playful for what I was feeling. But then I realized that giving up now meant not only failing in doing nanowrimo, but failing in writing this novel, and that's not really an option.

It's just ... I'm meeting my word count, but I feel like I'm writing less well with every passing day, like the characters are becoming caricatures and I'm getting further and further away from anything I'd actually feel proud of having written. And writing hasn't *felt* right for even one of the days of this month. I can force myself to sit down and generate word count, but I don't feel good about what comes out.

Anybody got any advice on what I might do to have at least one really good writing day, where the ideas, at least, if not the words, are things I can be proud of? Sort of shock therapy for writers? That would get me back on track, I think.
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Its about quantity over quality (at least that's what i keep telling myself) and with the "no going back and reading what you wrote" rule... it could be better than you think.

Besides, the goal of Nano isn't to write a great novel, it's to write a 50,000 word novel, doesn't have to be good. Be proud of your word count, even if you're not proud of anything else.
Thanks for the support. Things actually went a lot better today, so it looks like it helped!

-J
Take tomorrow off. You are not *allowed* to write anything tomorrow. Not even if you find the perfect word, the perfect sentence. You are absolutely forbidden even to open your writing file, look at your notes, anything.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny in DC, and relatively warm. Go downtown, do the touristy thing, or just sit in a coffee shop and watch people. Try to find Sam's apartment if you haven't already. Or go someplace else, just don't stay at home.
I've thought about this, and I really think it's the wrong approach. I think if I get behind, I'll get even more discouraged, and then I'll just stop. And I'll be afraid to open the file again. Maybe I'll go out and do something, but I'm not going to let myself not write.

I think what I'm really looking for is a new way of writing. Some risky thing to do that might completely fail, but it might shock me out of being frozen about the story. I tried closing my eyes this evening and just typing whatever came into my head, and I ended up producing a dream. I may or may not use it in the story at any point -- in fact, I probably won't -- but it sucks less than some of the stuff I've written this week, and it felt kind of freeing to just do that. So maybe more of that. I don't know.

-J
do you have a bit of the story that you're really excited about? could you write that bit which may come later and then fill in the middle. it might get you flowing more.

or maybe you could write a bit that's only visual, or only aural. or a great meal. (cause we know you can do that) sit Shauna down in a restaurant and have her glow over the food. cause you could easily write 500 words you're proud of and maybe even use them in the novel. everyone likes a novel with culinary joys. mmmm.
I like the idea of focusing on one sense. I think I'll do that with part of today. Thank you for the suggestion!

-J
That makes sense, though remember that you are allowed to take the occasional day off. Also, I can't speak for you, but I *always* hate the stuff I've written immediately after I write it. I can look at something later and like it, but immediately after, especially if I'm tired, uh-uh. I've had a few stories where I almost didn't send them to you to beta because I thought they were so bad.
I actually tend to hate what I've written right after writing it, too. Usually I'm right that it's bad, but I'm always surprised at how much can be fixed by just moving a few words around or fleshing something out a bit.

Things went better today. Thanks for the support.

-J
I agree w/ the Candas quote about even though you may feel you're writing crap, you probably aren't. But I'm also wondering whether part of this is sort of post-honeymoon blues: You finally got all this time to spend just working on this one story with these characters you've been carrying around with you for ages. And at first, it's total bliss, but now you're noticing the story snores really loudly and never clears the table and you're wondering whether you were wrong to make the commitment in the first place.

Or not. :)

On a more practical, less litcestual note, have you tried changing *where* you write? Like, try a park, a coffee shop -- a nice public library, whatever.

I've also found it helpful in the past to write a scene from a different POV than the one I plan on using.
Maybe it's post-honeymoon blues. I know I hoped -- didn't expect, but hoped -- that writing this would be kind of effortless and sheer fun. Ha.

Things went better today, but I'll definitely keep the change of locale in mind for the future. Thanks for the advice.

-J
I'd agree with Canadas' quote too. And Dafna - bad days where you start wondering whether you were right are probably inevitable at some point, though I hope they leave you alone as much as possible.

I hope the concentrating on one sense thing works for you. The changing writing locations also sounds good. Maybe you could try jumping ahead and writing a different bit of the novel - a bit that's as different from the stuff you've been doing as you can find, in as many ways as possible, that you can concentrate on making as different as possible - too. Or maybe writing in a different programme or something would help.
All good ideas. Things went better today, but I'll definitely keep them in mind as things to change in the future. Thank you so much for the support.

-J