Monday, November 8, 2010

How I Write: NaNo

I have been really liking my project. My goal is 2,500 words a day so that I will be done in time to properly host my parents when they come for Thanksgiving. So far I have been managing to get my words in, even last week when I spent 17 hours at my kids' school's book fair (today I still have 2000 to do).

It seems to help when I let myself start with a meditation on the page. I summarize the book following whatever nonsense flows from my fingertips, then ideas and scenes kind of come out of nowhere about nowhere in particular in the story. So my NaNo document involves a sort of outline by summery between expanded scenes that circle all over the time line. Sometimes I summarize plot points, other times emotions and conflicts After I am done writing my words for the day, I copy and paste everything in roughly in the right order (each scene has its own text document and title in Scrivener). I have a NaNo document that is a mess, including all attempts at brainstorming and repetitions of scenes and a Scrivener doc that I keep neatish!

I have never let myself write so crazily. We'll see if it keeps working.

The last couple of days has been harder. I'm tapped and insecurity has got a hold on me. So the message at yoga this morning was: Trust. And that resonated.

One month and then its gone. Hit select all and delete and all 50 thousand words are gone. But practice counts. Next time I will do this even better. For now, I am trusting. Trusting that this idea is good enough, trusting that my fabulous critique partners will help me make it better when the time comes, trusting that practice makes perfect and not the other way around.

Please check out The Practice Room's schedule through that door off to the right. How do you write?


  1. Good luck, with NaNo. It sounds like you do have a plan.

  2. You inspire me every day, Tina! I love that you are meditating your scenes before you write, following the flow that comes to you! That sounds so great!

  3. You are doing so well!
    I love that your yoga gives you a great mindset for the day.

  4. It sounds like you have a great system in place! 2,500 words a day is kind of amazing! Thanks for sharing all that in this post.

    And glad to hear yoga inspires you. Sometimes the best ideas come to me when I"m out running.

  5. Very cool, Tina! Your approach to writing this novel sounds very wholistic. 2500 words a day--that's impressive!

  6. I love hearing about your writing process. I'm a member of the slow writers club, so anyone who writes more than 1,000 words a day is a superhero in my eyes. Keep it up!

  7. Thanks, Sheri! I have been enjoying your tips from Natalie Fischer. It has helped me as I write to think of first chapters.

    Marisa, Thanks and right back at you!

    Kelly, I love when the yoga resonates as well. And I can tell you that last week I missed 3 days in a row because my daughter was sick and volunteering and it totally threw me off.

    Sam, I know about the ideas - I sometimes really wish I could pause to write things down. I can't do that so much!

    Paul, Thanks. So far so good. I never thought I could do it. I am just curious if it is wholistic enough to pull me through all the way to the end. The middle has started to fall together appropriately so maybe there is hope.

    MG, so great to see you. Thanks! I want to hear how your writing is going!!! I look forward to your next posts.

  8. congrats on keeping up with your wordcount. I don't do Nano but stick to my regular writing process. I just started using Scrivener and love it! And I write linear. But lots of people write all over the place and then bring everything together. Good luck with it!

  9. Thanks, Laura. I do envy the linear writer. There is a lot of mystery in this roundabout way but sometimes I feel so lost! Yay, Scrivener. It sure helps.

  10. Good luck. I have never attempted it.

  11. Very unique approach, Tina. It sounds like it's working for you, but I'd personally be dreading the revision phase for a project like that. You're a brave lady.

  12. Ron, Thanks. I have never seriously before either. If I ever have an idea ready like this for another November, I'm doing it again. It is so fun. The trick for me is having the idea ready.

    Ray, you make me laugh. You are the guy who drafts and keeps drafting. That scares the heck out of me. You are amazing. I'm a reviser. And honestly I don't know that I could write this any other way. But perhaps next year I will try something different?