NaNoWriMo – Day 1


I’m writing this blog with the disorientated, dizzying feeling I always get when I have been engrossed in writing for any length of time.

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo has gone scarily well. I have written more today than I have ever written in my life. To be on target I’m supposed to write 1667 words a day. Today I wrote just over 10,000 words.

I’m thinking of it like a swimming marathon in which I push myself off from the side. When you are swimming it is that first push which can be the most useful thing and give you some distance.

10,000 words! Why don’t I feel elated? I feel kind of drained and a little fearful. It is going too well – it can’t be this easy going all the way to 50,000 words, can it? Or am I making it harder than it needs to be? It all depends on how much the rest of life gets in the way of the writing.

The way I experience life is through my writing, through the organisation of often chaotic events into some kind of narrative. This is what people do – they put lives into story terms – even when those lives are chaotic.

I have genuinely never written so much before in a day. I once wrote so much with a pen and paper that I got blisters on my fingers, but 10,000 words is crazy.

I don’t want fellow writers to feel too envious though, today’s success brings with it a weird fear that something is about to go horribly wrong. It is too easy – it is flowing too well and I am too pessimistic. Perhaps I sabotage my own success, but I can almost hear life about to throw in some complication. It has been my experience and I have come to trust that experience.

The good news is that whatever life throws at me in the coming month, at least I have a bit of luxury when it comes to NaNoWriMo.

I think the tortoise and the hare analogy is about right here. I race ahead, take it easier and then I forget persistence – the very thing which has helped up until here. I have always considered myself the tortoise anyway – I have up until now been a slow writer with fiction but I’m using a couple of techniques to get around that with NaNoWriMo. And so far they are working. The tortoise is born the tortoise the hare is born the hare.

410 words.

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