NaNoWriMo: A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Hey, people. It’s been a week since I’ve been around Aardvarkian Tales. I apologise for my absence and neglecting my favourite blogs. I hope you all will understand. I was hoping to post an update earlier in the week, but if truth is told, once I’d finished writing for the day, the last thing I wanted to do was write some more.

I’ve been putting in some marathon sessions. When I got home from work last Sunday night/Monday morning, I wrote the first 2,000 words of my NaNoWriMo project, Bucktooth. Since then I’ve managed to write over 17,500 words in five days. Not a day has gone by when I haven’t written. In fact, last Wednesday evening, I wrote from 7pm until close to midnight and posted close to 4,000 words. My brain was fried afterwards. When I woke up the following day, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it anymore. It was too much effort, one half of me said. It’s a marathon not a sprint, the other half said. Take it easy, get rest – but finish the goddamn job.

These 17,500 words consist of three full chapters, with one nearing completion. I’ve followed the outline as close as I could but, as usual with any creative exercise, the artist/creator can sometimes lose the run of his or her creation. Tim Fanning, Bucktooth, has wrestled control from me a few times. Most of what he decides is good. He said he wanted his best friend to accompany him to Berlin, whereas in my original outline, I have him travelling solo. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a good idea. It allows for banter along the journey, and it creates conflict and danger.

I haven’t at any stage read over what I’ve written, other than to check simple things like name spellings, character descriptions (although I have my outline for this purpose, like I said earlier, sometimes I digress from it) and continuity. It’s not that I’m afraid to (okay, I am) but I don’t wish to be distracted by the rawness of my prose, the overuse of certain phrases and the sheer illogic of some its sections. I know these kind of flaws can be fixed at a later time.

But one thing I do know: all going well, I will complete and win NaNoWriMo this time around. I will win it at a canter. I will have, by the end of the 30 days, more than 50,000 words written. According to my stats, if I keep going at my present rate, I will finish on Nov 15. I can and can’t see that happening…if that makes any sense. If I get there by then, brilliant. But I’ll keep going; I’ll keep going until I stop.

I’ve got something going on with Bucktooth. When its first draft is complete, I’ll redo the whole thing from start to finish. That’s how pleased with it I am. It’s nowhere near perfect now; it needs a lot of work. But I won’t start any revisions until the darn thing is finished.

I love writing now. I haven’t for a while. I allowed life and all its distractions take me away from the one thing I feel I was born to do. It took NaNoWriMo and the support of some pretty wonderful people to get me back to where I belong. I’m here…and I’m here to stay,

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7 responses to “NaNoWriMo: A Marathon, Not A Sprint

  1. Love that you’ve got a cat checking your grammar! But what’s all this about “Nan” having issues with apostrophes and commas??? Do not!!!

    At the rate you’re writing, you must have smoke coming out of your fingertips. Go Speed Writer, Go!

  2. Keep going, steady does it.
    Slowly, slowly catchee monkey …

  3. James,
    I hope I never gave you the idea that NaNoWriMo was easy. I’ve never thought so. On Novermber 30th each year, I am reminded of Dorothy Parker’s quote, “I hate writing. I love having written.”
    That you are currently loving writing again is a wonderful thing. I just hope that if that love shifts over the next three weeks or so, you’ll stay with it nonetheless.
    I’m really impressed with your word count. At the rate you’re going you may challenge Jan P’s record. She did around 70k words in 16 days.

    Write on!

  4. Am so glad that you are enjoying writing again and that you’re doing it on such a brilliant project as ‘Bucktooth’!

    You know, I don’t anything else to say except,

    Keep writing!!

    Oh, and remember, I’m still wearing the leather and lace cheer leading outfit!!

    *#*

  5. Excellent, James. You’re in the Zone.

  6. James you have alot of people or at least a good base of friends that love you and love work. I hope you never loose the love of writing, again. Write on my friend, right on! ❤

  7. I think everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo. What an incredible challenge. I admire you.

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