Week two of Nanowrimo is drawing to a close. I’m at 23,045 words on Birdie’s Journal, which is slightly ahead of the strict schedule of 1667 words a day. It’s been an exhilarating process so far, though I can imagine that if I hadn’t done my page-a-day for so long already it would be more intense. The idea is to let that first draft out without any editing at all, but I can’t resist tweaks here and there. It doesn’t slow me down much.
Never having done this before, I didn’t really know what to expect. There have been several pleasant surprises along the way. One is the mood boost I’ve gotten from writing so much. Rather than exhausting me, the process seems to rev me up. The second surprise was the collection of fun pep talks. So far, in addition to those from Nanowrimo’s founding father, Chris Baty, I’ve received messages from Phillip Pullman, Jonathan Stroud, and Katherine Paterson. Where else can you get free writing advice from the bigwigs? The third surprise has been the forums. Now, I’ve begun to appreciate that the forums could be the biggest procrastination tool of the whole process. Thousands upon thousands of messages await. But I posted a question and have received several thoughtful and insightful responses. I’m grateful to my fellow Wrimos for taking the time to share their experiences with me.
I doubt that the novel will be done at 50,000 words, but I see its shape more clearly than I usually do at this point in a story. So, a big tip of the hat to Chris Baty and his dedicated team.