Month Impossible: Day Twenty-Three, Count it out

Love that sudden jump upwards

I’ve reached the happy word count of 12,345 words in my NaNoWrimo novel draft, which seems an opportune time to stop and post a short blog entry.

It is still not at all certain I’ll reach the 50k mark by the end of the month, due to what I’m gradually coming to recognize as a paradoxical combination of workaholism and procrastination.

As you know, if you’ve followed my NaNo 2007 saga, I’d blocked off today for writing and writing only. I didn’t go to the parade on my small town’s Main Street, nor the soup party that friends threw afterwards. I didn’t shop anywhere (not that I would have withstood the crowds anyway.) I had been booked for babysitting duty, but then I was relieved even of that.

In other words, today I was at home, with nothing I to do except write.

And what did I do? I researched project management tools and started constructing an elaborate set of my own making. I worked on a client project that could have waited until Monday (and made nice progress). I paid bills. Did laundry. Make a batch of oatmeal cookies — delicious, by the way.

I spent nary a moment at rest, and I found just about every thing to do aside from writing.

But then, at last, I did make myself sit down, and open the file that is the novel so far, and start typing words into the keyboard. I resigned myself to the probability — no, the near-fact — that what I was writing was complete garbage and would mean nothing to anyone around me, or even to myself.

Sure enough, just as miraculously as a hard and tiny seed cracks and sprouts and becomes a seedling, the first crappy paragraph led to another, and another, and the finally to a paragraph that was passably interesting. And then the characters, who up until then had been sort of poking at each other as if with sticks, walked into a room that was intricate and fun to write about. And then we were off and churning out some … well, it’s still crappy stuff, but at least it’s going somewhere.

And, critically, it’s pushing the word count upward.

More yet to write tonight. Probably no drawing, for fear of changing creative gears and throwing everything off. Even trying to construct a proper metaphor to explain my fear just now felt risky. I’m going back to the fiction right this moment. More updates tomorrow.

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