Camp Day: 15, 16, & 17
Word Count: 17,013
Good Evening Friends & Fellow Campers,
Today, we reach our half way mark on our journey through writing our own stories. Congratulations to those of you who have made it to this point! I am very proud of you, and look forward to continuing this journey with you. As I stated yesterday, there were a few things I wanted to talk about that I noticed about my own story as I’ve been writing it.
Last week I was unsuccessful with talking about chapter 6 of No Plot? No Problem! which talks about week two of NaNoWriMo writing with tips and problems that you could run into as you’re working on your story. The part of week two that stood out to me the most was “Falling Behind and the Key to the VIP Lounge.” (Baty 128.) There’s been some instances, such as personal life and sudden time management change of plans, that have caused me to be a few thousand words behind, give or take the day. By getting my personal life under some management, and not being hard on myself about falling behind, because what really matters is that I am keeping my head in the game, and making a dream come true, one step at a time. I like that Baty talked about positive reinforcement in the form of a metaphor with the “VIP Lounge”-as a “place” that you mentally place yourself into to take away from stressing yourself out about your book, and to pat yourself on the back for doing a job well done by sticking with your ultimate goal and getting your book to become a reality. (Baty 128-129.) Another tip Baty talks about that I definitely have found helpful are Check-Ins: taking a moment to quickly write out part of novel in 20 minutes to keep yourself writing and to keep your word count debt from piling up too high on you and, most important of all, to keep you creatively invested in your story. (Baty 130-131.) As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted to here in a few days. This has been because, as Baty has mentioned several times in his book, a re-occurrence of a lot of personal life things happening to me at once where I have to prioritize my time to take care of them before my story. This has also meant me taking the time to balance out writing for my blog as well. I find it interesting how, at the beginning of reading his book, that I felt that I somehow would be exempt from having life happen to me where it would interfere with my book writing process. Here we are, 17 days into writing and I have had more and more little things pile up than I could honestly have imagined that they would. That being said, I’m at least glad that this book has been a great guild with keeping me on track as well as making me laugh and enjoy my ride through the wonderful world of writing a story.
For me, my main reoccurring problem with writing my story up until this point has been my impatience with the progression of the piece. I had been in the mode of wanting to be at the second half of the story-which, shifts the perspective of the main character’s thought process-and I wouldn’t be there until the 16th of April, according to my story outline. Instead of using that as an excuse not to write the parts that I need, or worse, just skip ahead and not stick to the outline I made, I found a different solution to my problem. I would just write whatever came to mind about that day’s theme, and try my best to think more about that topic instead of focusing on jumping ahead of my story. For example, if the theme was responsibility, I focused on what that meant to myself as well as my character. I would then just type out whatever came to mind when I was focusing on that theme. I would look back when taking a pause from writing to see that what I wrote actually made sense with the theme I would have for that day (I split my outline up by themes for the character to reflect on.) I would end up with my word count goals and I would be able to leave the story so that I could pick up the next day’s topic easily. By sticking with my theme for the day, I felt like I’ve gained more trust within myself.
Music has also been a huge influence on my writing. I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music while writing my story. For me, instrumental music ranging from classical to modern electro-swing have always been the best writing music for me because there’s no lyrics for me to focus on while I’m in the moment of focusing on my words. Tomorrow, I think I would like to talk some more about week two as well as some more about my writing. Thank you all for your patience with my sporadic posts, and for continuing to be apart of my adventure.
Baty, Chris. No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. Chronicle Books, 2014.