I’m so, so tired. We’re at day seven of National Novel Writing week, somewhere between 10,000 and 11,000 words ideally, and the bloom is off the rose.
That’s not true. It’s just that everything I write, I write late and night, and I am reeeeeeeeeally tired. But honestly? I’m not tired of writing this novel. My typical writing process involves 6 or 7 “false start” drafts of about 15,000 words, and it usually takes me months to get there. I should hit 15000 words by… Saturday? at my current pace. And my current pace, the nature of NaNoWriMo itself, doesn’t allow for six or seven false start drafts. So this is all very new stuff for me, and since it’s new, I’m going to say it’s encouraging.
Here’s some encouragement from Patrick Rothfuss, which is an expansion on the best writing advice I’ve ever heard: “Writers write.” Here is his One Commandment of Writing (and you really should go read the whole article. It’s short.):
1. Yay, Verily. You Must Sit Down and Write.
1a. Thou shalt not go see a movie instead. Or watch reality TV. Thou shalt write. No. Stop. You don’t need to clean out the fridge right now. Neither dost thou need to sort the recycling. I’m not even kidding. Go and write.
1b. Thou shalt not just think about writing. Seriously. That is not writing. The worst unpublished novel of all-time is better than the brilliant idea you have in your head. Why? Because the worst novel ever is written down. That means it’s a book, while your idea is just an idle fancy. My dog used to dream about chasing rabbits; she didn’t write a novel about chasing rabbits. There is a difference.
1c. Thou shalt not read, either. I know it’s book-related, but it’s not actually writing. Yes, even if it’s a book about how to write. Yes, even if you’re doing research. You can research later. Sit. Down. Write.
I just love the simplicity, the austerity of it. Put your behind in the chair and get to it, writer. How are your projects coming along? I know you have all month to work on them, but a little prewriting might be in order, maybe? Just to get the thoughts you already have in order? I hope your projects are going well. I can’t wait to hear about them at the end of the month!
Today’s excerpt, a paragraph from a “Becca” chapter (you met her in an earlier post):
She woke all cozy inside from her dream, a small smile on her lips. Then she noticed the blare of her alarm and the time, nonnegotiable realities. She had dreamed she knelt across the altar from Jared in a bright white room, mirrors stretching infinitely behind each other them, light filtering in through golden stained glass windows, the whole scene promising love, forever, bliss. Sheathed in cascades of lace, she’d never looked happier. She threw herself out of bed with a lurch and confronted her reflection in the pre-Seminary darkness. Yoga pants and a t-shirt. Well. A thing was what it was and not what it wasn’t.