I had a fantastic day today. Just a simple, good old fashioned happy day. I am now exhausted and ready for bed. Initially, I was hoping that, on the eve of NaNoWriMo, I would take a nap then wake up in time for the midnight kickoff of my challenge. That is not going to happen. I am going to get a full night’s sleep and storm the castle in the morning. You need your rest for castle storming. That’s science.
I feel that the fact that I am ready to sleep is a good thing. It’s an indicator. I feel that my body is totally relaxed and ready to shut down for the night because I am in a fantastic place to succeed this year. My body knows this. My mind knows this. My heart knows this. I will sleep deeply and with drooling abandon tonight.
I have decided a couple of things recently – things that you should be aware of.
First, I am going to give to you all my favorite snippet of each day’s writing on my SNIPPETS page. It might be a turn of phrase that catches my fancy or maybe a revelation that I make during my discovery writing. Whatever it is, there will be something every day.
Second, I will be giving a weekly status update of my progress. I want to share with you all the strides that I have made. I want to hear about your progress in the comments – let’s have a discussion on what you are doing to succeed or what you need help with to do so.
So this is my daily plan of attack:
Shower. Eat a healthy breakfast. Pushups, squats, crunches.
Writing warm-up in longhand.
Dinner with Preggers.
Pushups, squats, crunches.
Writing warm-up in longhand.
Mini writing session.
This is, obviously, a pretty idyllic day for me. Work is going to wear me down and get in the way. Things are going to come up (finishing the nursery, traveling back to Michigan for Thanksgiving, etc.). Writing may not sound appealing to me at times. Tough shit. In my listening to podcasts such as Writing Excuses, reading Stephen King’s On Writing, and from other places where I hear authors talk about their craft, the great majority of them have a routine that they stick to daily. I need that in place. I am a creature of habit and will conform to whatever routine I establish.
I would like to point out my separation of longhand warm-ups and the main writing sessions. I am foreseeing a distinct difference in these two acts. For one, I have come to realize in my traveling these past two weeks, that I love writing in longhand. It’s a freeing experience. I feel more in tune with my voice and imagination now that I have in over a year.
The physicality of writing longhand aids your creative process in a few ways. First, it slows you down. You type faster than you pen and sometimes that does not give you the fraction of a second needed to connect thoughts, retrieve the proper word, or think through the sequence. I liken this to my teaching experience. Studies show that teachers call on students who raise their hands within one second the vast amount of time – studies also show that the same small fraction of the students in a class raise their hands that fast – other studies show that if you wait for three seconds before calling on a student for an answer, the vast majority of the students will have the answer. I am not entirely sure where I am going with all of this scientific data, but the point is that if you delay in calling on the same immediate response, participation increases and therefore engagement increases. The same is true with longhand. By delaying the speed at which you are transfering your thoughts, you give your brain the proper time to search for a more suitable word, to connect several thoughts together, and to think ahead in the story. These are good thigns.
I am planning on, at this point anyways, switching to the computer for my actual novel writing in the main writing sessions based on one simple assumption – that I will not be able to keep up with my thoughts once I am in full swing. I liken my writing rhythm to a locomotive. I am slow to start, but once I get going I have momentum that is incredibly difficult to stop. The warm-ups are there to shovel coal into the engine. The writing sessions are to carry my momentum over the crest of a hill and downwards at a pace that I have no hope to stop.
This post may not make a lot of sense. To be honest, I am so worn down from two weeks’ worth of travel, I am having a hard time discerning up from down most of the time (despite having a joyous day today). This is me clearing my head. This is me stating my plan of action for the big day tomorrow. This is me.
Purdie Writing – http://purdiewriting.blogspot.com/2013/06/writing-longhand.html
Kenisha Cummings – http://kenishacummings.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/nanowrimo-prep/