It’s the 24th July. I’ve been writing every day now for 24 days straight. On one of those days I wrote a short story that was nothing to do with my Nano project, but still. Twenty four days isn’t too bad, I guess? (My current count is 39,520.)
I’ve got to admit it. I have Nano fatigue. I hit the middle of my book a while ago and had a mild panic. I was in the midst of a chapter and I looked around me and realised that I didn’t recognise anything. Who are these people? Where am I? Why are we here? Who said we could introduce random violence into the book?
It was frightening. I considered giving up. I experienced that dark night of the soul. It extended into a day or two and developed into severe paranoia that I am writing the biggest amount of utter garbage the world has ever seen. It’s probably even worse than that. It’s disorganised, messy and completely illogical. I don’t even know if I would read it. I haven’t dared look at it. It’s like a thing that cannot be named that I hide away from my conscious brain for the rest of the day after completing my 1600 or so words.
At this point in my Nano journey I am waking up every day with no idea where the next chapter will take me. Oh, I plotted of course, but I just didn’t plot enough. I forgot to plot for the flat middle or for the weird subplots that would take me on unexpected journeys. I feel like I’m sitting in an exam room, unprepared for questions 10–50 of the paper. Oh, I aced the first couple of pages but now I’m not doing so well.
As it happens, I’m around 6 days away from hitting that 50k mark and I am nowhere near the conclusion of my book. My characters have discovered a lot more stuff along the way and, somehow, they need to do a few things before they can go and face the big bad.
So, how can I keep going? How can I lift myself up and carry on, uphill, on this windy mountain?
I have to remember one thing. It’s a first draft. It might be crap, but that’s OK.
It’s easier to fix something you can see in front of you, than something that hasn’t yet taken solid form.
I guess I’m looking at my Nano project like a massive lump of clay that I have just plopped down onto the table. It’s got a lot of shaping to do, but you can’t shape air into a masterpiece. Not in this world, anyway.
It’s the seed that will grow into something better, but I have to water it every day otherwise it will shrivel up and die.
Do you need another analogy? I might have a few more up my sleeve but I have some more writing to do today.
So, fellow CampNaNoers. Are you with me? Are you ready to keep plopping more grey, unformed lumps of clay onto that table? There’s something fun about slinging about great big wodges of clay about. C’mon! We can do this.
Not long to go now. Just another week. Final push. We got this.