Nanowrimo 2015: Pacing

In today’s episode of “that was incredibly obvious how the fuck did I not work that out sooner”: turns out that I have actually succeeded in my goal of being able to simultaneously work on academia and my creative pursuits. It just doesn’t feel like it, because it doesn’t look like me simultaneously working on academy and my creative pursuits every day. Instead it’s the kind of thing I have to zoom out and look at from a wider perspective, across days and weeks rather than hours within the same 24-hour period.

This is good. This is perspective that I very much need, because it takes away my usual excuses for regarding myself as a useless lump who can’t accomplish tasks that, on paper, should be incredibly easy, such as allocating time every day to both work on academic stuff and progress with creative works. The big picture is not always the best way to look at things, but it can certainly be helpful.

I haven’t written any more of my Nano project since last time, but it’s only 15k words until I hit the Nano target and 25k at most until I hit my personal goal, so I’m not that worried. I’m actually still pretty excited about wrapping it up nice and tight, so I may be able to stick to 15k after all. I was thinking the other day about how what I’ve got planned out to write would play out as a TV show or a movie, and it wouldn’t be particularly satisfying: just by-the-numbers, bare-minimum kinda stuff. But that’s what one should expect from a writing exercise in by-the-numbers, bare-minimum story-construction, which is what this project is. And it’s also almost finished.

Did I mention I’m excited?

I haven’t finished a full draft of anything non-academic since revising Tallulah back in … 2013? 2014? A while ago, anyway, and while this is a different kind of excitement to what I felt during the first draft, where after months of slogging and guesswork I was finally at the end, knew exactly what was going to happen and was relieved to be, finally, all out of options except to write the ending, it’s still exciting. It’s just that now I’ve already always more or less known exactly what was going to happen, not just at the end, and there have never really been many options with this story to begin with. What’s been fun about this project is the opposite of what was fun about Tallulah: while Tallulah was very much a free-form, discover-the-story-as-I-write-it experience, this shitty YA werewolf thing has been intentionally restricted to the inside of the box, taking the most obvious, common answers to the questions posed by my storytelling instincts and running with them. And I like them both, but I’m really enjoying getting used to this one.

But at the same time, I’m eager to be done with it, to have it in my hand – or hard drive – and be able to go back over it as a whole, finished thing. Because that’s the part that’s really rewarding: finishing something that you started. And I’ve got another 5 days to do that.

3k a day. That’s not too bad.


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