1699 words earns a LOLcat
Thanks, Loki. That's encouraging for me. (That's an old photo from our apartment in Cincinnati... Loki still loves plastic bags to the point of our concern.)
I wrote 33 words more than the goal last night, even though it was technically on November 2, not November 1 that I recorded my word goals on NaNoWriMo.org (which is still not showing up correctly on the widget over there in the sidebar, but hopefully they'll fix that today).
And it wasn't so hard.
True, I stayed up past my bedtime to write and am certainly feeling it this morning. More coffee is helping. I wonder how anyone could get through this challenge without drinking (or partaking in any other way) any caffeine.
The hardest part for me about writing 1,669 words last night was to simply write the ideas that were coming into my head with very little self-editing. One of my biggest struggles, that probably plagues a host of other writers out there, is second guessing every sentence and tweaking the flow of individual sentences and word combinations. In college, I had a tough time deleting sections of stories or papers I wrote because I didn't want to just throw them away. But after being in the position of writer and editor at work for nearly two years, working on stuff in which I take pride but don't have an extraordinarily personal investment or attachment, it's easier to write a little more stream-of-consciousness because I'm confident that when I write stuff that sucks, I'll have the puzzle-piecing ability of a more seasoned editor to go back to junk and re-write as much as needed.
Most of what I wrote last night will probably find itself on the "cutting room floor," to pull in an analogy from old time filmmaking. But who knows. Maybe some of the scenes I write will be offshoots for future stories.
Last night's musical selection while writing: Canadian Brass, then the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra playing Copland.
I didn't actually start writing until about 11:00 last night. I was too nervous in the morning and didn't quite know how to start. I think they key is not to end a scene at the end of the night. It's to keep writing until you get to a point where you're not quite sure what is going to happen, but you've set yourself up for some nice action or dialogue. Then you read the tail end of what you already wrote when you return to writing, and you'll find yourself in the same spot with even more fresh ideas than the day before. Yeah, hopefully that's where I'll be when I start writing again this morning. Except it's getting to the time where I need to go to work and I'm procrastinating by writing the blog. But I think it's important to document how things are going so that I know how the hell I did it by the end of the month when I'm in a permanent caffeine-induced fog and only thinking about word count.
Last night, I nearly stopped at 600 or so. Then I pushed myself to continue the scene and found myself at 800, then 1200. I brushed my teeth at 1400, then came back and wrote up to 1656. "Ten away from the goal? Damn, I think I can write one more sentence before going to bed." And so I wrote a tiny bit more and made it to 1699.
It's a lot easier to write blog entries about what I did last night than it is to write a compelling story. But hey, I remember from my college writing courses that it's about getting in the habit of writing. And I think I'm there as far as blogging goes. Now if I can just transition into writing fiction every day as well...