nanoupdate #1

So… yeah. Day four? Day four. Oh, my word count? Wow, everyone is so obsessed with length here.

So I’ve had a pretty bad start to NaNoWriMo 2012 in terms of words on the page. My tried and trusted method is the 1667-words-per-day-no-matter-what: I say tried and trusted because I’ve only “won” NaNoWriMo once and that was what I did. Sometimes I even went over 1667, just to give myself a little bit of a buffer in case the next day was a bad day.

November 2012 seems to be a bad month; at least when it comes to my novel. If you are any other project – random short stories, pearly-white and perfect first stanzas to future earth-shattering epics, then man, am I showering you with love and attention right now. But The Novel, poor thing, I think it might be able to tell that I am forcing myself through that “quality time” of ours. It’s taken me until Day Four to do what I needed to do: 1) block some time out of my calendar where what I’m meant to be doing is writing and 2) have someone there to make sure I do it. Apparently I am useless without the buddy system. This afternoon my best friend and I wandered down to the park and sat in the sun, ate vegan chips and apples, talked about how scary birds are, and then we made some goddamn ART. We were both dealing with a spot of rustiness, she sketching after some time off, me writing fiction again after months of gig reviews and artist interviews, so it was an awkward but ultimately productive afternoon. I am no where near meeting my word targets, but at least I’ve actually started moving – however slowly – toward them.

Another thing I have learnt about my writing process, darling is that I am a planner. If I’d spent even five minutes doing a bit of self-assessment I probably could have put two and two together and come to the same astounding conclusion, but as it is it turns out I learn by making an idiot out of myself. Thankfully, this time, it was just to myself, no one else.

I discovered, in drawing up a family tree of my characters, that I’d managed to put one of my characters into two different families within the same paragraph. I’d read through the paragraph once before I realised this and not even noticed. I had to sit down and make an elaborate family tree, draw a little map of my universe, and start picking careers and personality traits for my characters before the penny would deign to drop.* And I thought brainstorming was just something they taught us in high school
English when we were planning essays.

So in conclusion, my new business cards are going to read something like this:

Lauren Strickland
idiot, procrastinator, novelist

Am keeping on going, and come hell or high water I will win this year; the t-shirt design is just too damn cute.

* Side note: there was a reason I had to quit playing The Sims.

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