Monday, November 11, 2013

nanowrimo week two: advice from dylan thomas...

Matt's favorite poem is Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas. It's a poem which advises that one (Thomas's narrator's father, presumably) should fight to the very end with everything we have. He says to, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

So why am I telling you this?

Because it's NaNoWriMo and I'm being overly dramatic. That's why. Because right now, that advice is what I need to keep myself from throwing urgent forward progress out the window in favor of slow and steady wins the race. Because as of the end of tonight, I'll be about 3,375 words behind.

I went from being two days ahead, to being three days behind. That's what happens. I sabotage myself, but 3,375 words isn't insurmountable. It's a small thing, really. Not even too much to write in one day, except that by tomorrow I'll be 5,041 words behind and that is too much to write in one day. That's definitely not going to happen, but NaNoWriMo's trackers says that I can still finish if I write 1,752 words every day for the rest of the month. That's manageable, only 85 words a day more than the 1,667 they recommend you write every day in order to finish it.

Let's be realistic though, that's not how I work. I won't write every day this month, NaNoWriMo or not. I won't do it. I've already proven that in having skipped something like 4 of the 11 days this month so far. That's not good odds. I figure I can still get it done, if I work at it, and if I consistently write between 2,500 and 3,000 words on the days I do find the motivation. I think I can do that. I mean, the first year I did this and won (the only year I've won--2004) I had one day left and 10,000 or so words to go. I put my heart into it and got it finished. I can do that again, hopefully I won't have to, especially since I'm going for something less than tragic and Visions my 2004 NaNoWriMo novel is just that, tragic.

But here's the thing. Even though I'm trying to "rage" and all that, I'm kind of stuck. I'm sitting at a crossroads and several different things can happen. I just don't know which of them it'll be. So, in classic procrastination style, I'm avoiding it. I'm avoiding Gabriel and Helena, and Jane, and Contessa. I don't know what I want to happen next, which means nothing is happening next. Nada. I'm stuck. I know a few things need to happen in order to push the thing forward, but I don't know how they will happen.

Hopefully, I can get past this tomorrow. Tomorrow is writing group and I'm going to stop avoiding my imaginary friends and get some writing done. Tomorrow I'm going to "rage," I hope. I think once I'm past this little lost place, things will start flowing again. I just have to get my proverbial wheels out of the mud, which I'm hoping to do tomorrow. Hoping being the operative. Wish me luck or whatever, I'm probably going to need it.


  1. First, I absolutely love that poem by Dylan Thomas. Second, 85 extra words a day is practically nothing Kristyn. You can do this! But even if NaNoWriMo proves to be too much pressure (shoot, I barely lasted four days back when I tried it, if you can even call it "trying"), just don't give up on your novel. I know that feeling when you get to a scene and your like, "Crap, what do I want to happen next?" For me, it's more like I know where I want the story to go, but I get stuck trying to get the characters from point A to point B in a way that's still interesting to the reader. And before I know it, I'm avoiding the problem entirely and leaving my story to rot. But put yourself on the outside. If you were reading your own story, what would you, the reader, like to see happen next? What would get your blood pumping and your pulse racing? So get some good raging in at your writing group tomorrow and just WRITE--don't worry about reaching 50K. Just keep your story alive. If you do happen to reach that goal, it will be icing on the cake.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Jodi. I sort of let things get much worse, I'm now 8k words behind, but I'm trying to make up the difference. I really want to get this thing done. :D That said, I did what you suggested and thought about it and I'm back to work. It just took a little bit of spinning and thinking. I got this... I hope!