Friday, November 30, 2012

Achievement Unlocked: 50,000 words

HEY! I JUST FINISHED WRITING 50,000 WORDS FOR MY NOVEL. Cool! Not that every word is a keeper, and I'm by no means close to being finished, but holy shit, you guys, this is the most I've ever written for a single project. I'm scrolling through the 174 pages of text I wrote over the last 30 days and I'm pretty amazed at what I've accomplished here. It feels pretty awesome, but I can't get ahead of myself. There's still a LOT to do before this is a finished work, the first thing being, to finish it. I would be willing to bet I can wrap up the story in another 10,000 words or so, which seems fair, and probably won't take me too long... with how busy I am going to be in the next month I'm going to go ahead and say the rough draft should be done by the end of the year. Then, let the editing begin! I edit with a butcher's knife, don't worry.

So this concludes my mad dash to get this out of my brain and on to paper. The bulk of it is over with and I feel confident I can finish this work. Most of the difficult stuff has been fleshed out. Damn. I'm kind of in a daze of disbelief right now... More later, I need to take a victory nap.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30,000 words.

Today I'm going to write-sprint. As much as I can. It's early, and I have plenty of coffee. I'm still surprisingly unaware of what the end-game here is, but, uh, I'm sure it'll come to me in the next week or so? This month has blown by. I'm amazed. If I leave the house today, it'll be because I wrote four or five thousand words and my fingertips are bleeding. Quick thoughts. Just letting you know I'm still at it. Can't stop, won't stop. Not now. More later. Love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

somehow i am doing this: 20,000 words

For those keeping track, you know two weeks have already passed since I kicked off this project. HERE'S AN UPDATE. I know you're at the edge of your flippin' seat right now. Well, I just wrote my twenty-thousand and tenth word. I'm eating lunch hoping for a new wind of inspiration to get me through the next two or three hours. (I work tonight, no writing after 5 or so). There you have it.

Things that have kept me from writing as much as I'd like to this last week include working (mostly on the weekends) and preparing/facilitating Spiderweb Salon's Harvest Showcase. SHOW=WORTH IT. I can't believe it was our sixth show already, it's growing up so fast! There were a lot more performers this time, which meant a little extra effort for us getting everything organized and the show ran a little longer than we planned, but overall, it was a great time and lots of people came out to enjoy the beautiful evening with us! I love hearing people's responses to the show, everyone starts talking about the awesome creative things they want to accomplish and they rally collaboration and support from other. It's a really beautiful thing.

At the Salon, I read a couple excerpts from what I've been working on. They were received positively but I can't help but be completely insecure about it. Every time someone came up to me to talk about it, I found myself changing the subject as quickly as possible. WHY?! I know everyone is well-intentioned but I have convinced myself that it wasn't good. I can't explain how dumb this is, I know, I know. Just some stuff I need to work through, I guess. I really do want to talk about it to people who are legitimately interested but approaching the subject is hard for me. There's so much explaining that goes in to it, I mean, that's why I'm trying to write a damn novel about it! I think I'll feel more confident once I have time to edit and familiarize myself with the work a little more. I need to work on not being so weird about it.

The other thing that has kept my productivity from skyrocketing this week is some work my landlords have decided to take on with this house. There's been tons of hammering and crashing and drilling and scraping and boom box playing... some days it just drives me mad. I've had to seek shelter at friends' houses or run errands until they go away. It's been terribly frustrating. But, on the bright side, part of their project looks to be putting in a porch swing up right by my front door which I have ALWAYS wanted, and I finally mustered up the courage to ask them to fix a broken window and put some damn weatherstripping on my doors while they're at it. Maybe I won't get frostbite on my toes this winter. So that's cool.

All this being said, the support of my good friends and even some incredibly kind acquaintances these last couple weeks means so much to me. I am referring to both the encouragement Conor and I receive when working to put on Spiderweb Salon and for my personal projects and goals alike.

Some of you get texts from me every day about how I've just written another thousand words or that I'm stuck or sad and don't know what to do... I thank you. Some of you have come to my house to workshop with me, have brought coffee and news of the outside world... I thank you, too! I've had a lot of people come up to me and ask me how my novel is going. If you do this and I seem taken aback, IT'S OKAY. It's just that I am still getting used to the fact that I AM writing a novel, and the fact that it has peeked your curiosity is so incredibly flattering to me I don't know what to do. Keep in mind I am infamously bad at taking compliments, and for someone like you to be interested in something that means so much to me is the greatest compliment I have probably ever received. Thank you, everyone, for your love and encouragement. After tomorrow there's only two more weeks to go, hopefully by then I will be wrapping this up and we shall be on to bigger and better things.

And, as my friend, for everything you do, you know, for keeping up with this blog and being a supportive and awesome pal even when I am a grouchy pill... I present to you this baby walrus. (My friend Colin sent me this picture. Thanks, buddy.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10,000 words. WHAT.

I'M DOING IT. I don't know what it is, but I'm doing it. Look here. This project is taking on a life of its own. The plot, which doesn't actually exist, keeps making minor shifts on me when I'm not paying attention. The tense is a thrilling nightmare to try and keep up with. I don't even know what it's called... present progressive, I guess? Is that a terrible idea? My main character wishes to exist in two different patches of time. I guess I'm letting her. I've gone off on long-winded rants about artistic philosophy, modern-day parenting, and psychology. Lots of dialogue, which is good practice, I suppose, because I'm not very good at writing dialogue at all. I'm still working on forming some overarching themes...I feel like I should have more of a grasp on the plot at this point, but I don't. Half the characters I planned on having are unnamed or don't even exist yet.

Here I am with 10,000 words of unedited junk. I'm more positive about it the last couple days, but that could also be because I'm shying away from some of the heavier stuff for now. I realized it may be harder to start with already-rough material AND no clear direction. I'm trying to let this be as organic as possible. To not over-think it too much, and let the words come out as they may. 

Tomorrow, I will have been working on this an entire week! I am proving to myself that I can force myself to write, I can even force myself to enjoy doing it. I mean, I always enjoy writing, but I'm pretty sure that's because I am so used to doing it when I want to, or when I have good ideas ready to go. This is a different experience entirely.

And to reward you for keeping up with my progress, or at least clicking on the link to my blog and glimpsing over it ever-so-slightly, I give you this picture of an adorable baby owl.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

READ THIS: susan sontag on love

This is beautiful and perfect. I wish I could describe my vision of love with such simple and eloquent precision. Susan Sontag is an inspiring and incredible woman well worth admiration.
"Can I love someone and still think/fly?"

Monday, November 5, 2012

5,000 words

Day five and 5,000 words. I am technically behind. According to the official NaNoWriMo site, I should have almost 8,500 written by the end of today. I'm going to keep trucking but I needed a little break. I should probably take a shower. 

I'll be honest, the writing is not coming terribly easy. The focus of the novel keeps changing and my original outline has been thrown out the window. The working title isn't working. The content is more draining on me than I could have imagined, and I've only just begun. For instance, yesterday I was working on a scene that I really wanted to loosely base off of personal experience but I had to keep stopping because of how upset I was getting. I went to work my night shift in a sour mood and a co-worker pointed out that perhaps the writing is part of what is bothering me. I hadn't considered it. I didn't think it would put me in so dark a place so quickly.

I allow myself breaks every five hundred words or so. I stretch. Check the mail (compulsively, for some dumb reason.) Make more coffee or tea. I seek encouragement/motivation via friends who I know are interested in the project, but also through vague updates on facebook and twitter. It's hard not to feel very alone. After all, I am sitting by myself all day, spending my time digging up difficult emotions and attempting to arrange them in a coherent and not-so-melodramatic style. I want the story to be true-to-life but also accessible. I want to allow others access to the experiences but not turn them off with negativity. It means everything to me at this moment to just get this right. It's shaping up to be quite a challenge.

Again: positivity, happy thoughts, coffee, snacks, hugs, moral support, and general encouragement are going a long way right now. Thanks, everyone.

I'll post again in a few days. My next goal is to hit 10,000 words and select some piece from it to read at the next Spiderweb Salon! If you are a twitter nerd, you can follow my rather mundane progress posts @fiveglue.