I swear, these word-count numbers are spooky. That’s this year plus 2,000.
Tonight’s semi-marathon writing session was not devoted to my Camp Nano project, as you can probably infer from the title of this post not carrying the “Camp Nanowrimo 2016” prefix. That is because I have pretty much given up on my Camp Nano project, and I’m switching back to the one I was intending to write originally: the weird semi-parody high fantasy erotica story. So far it is fairly indefensible from a moral standpoint, but also rather enjoyable to write because I can switch my brain off, more or less, and let my fingers do all the work. And that’s what I want. I want a story that I can just write, that I can finish and revel in the satisfaction of having finished it, and not spend months and months and months agonising over making it actually any good at the expense of speed. That’s what revision is for.
Having said that, I am not completely giving up on my Camp Nano project – I’m just giving up on Camp Nano. I have gotten more writing done this month than I have for the past few, so I’m certainly not complaining about that, but as far as progressing with a single project goes – not so much. I just want to flit around right now, give a few things a try and see if anything sticks. And to that end, I have an idea for how to spend the remainder of Camp Nano: forget the project and just have a word-count goal. Just see how much I can write in a month, no matter what it is I’m writing (so long as it’s a novel). And if anything comes from that, great, but if not then at least I’ve got some general momentum going, and a lot of writing done.
So, assuming that this is my plan for the rest of the month, I have managed to write … 15,848 words. I’m going to set a word count goal of 40k, seeing as I’m making some progress right now. See how this goes.
But more and more I’m coming around to the idea that I just really want to do something that isn’t writing, something that I can throw myself into. Which I can do with writing, but not right now. I had all these plans about being disciplined and writing my witch novel for the sake of developing that discipline … it’s just miserable to do. Really miserable. And I don’t know if that’s a mindset thing that I should try to push through or if I need to listen to it and take the break that I’m currently taking – but, seeing as I’m taking that break anyway, I guess I’ve made that decision already.
But I suppose this new plan is still about discipline. I mean I’ve got 7 days left to write 25k words, which is, what, 3.2k words per day or something? 3.5. That’s doable, but will definitely take some discipline. My task now, I guess, is to make sure that I’m writing that every day, rather than just blatting it all out in the last few days of the month and probably not meeting my goal.
Or I guess I could just not write for a while.
I guess this comes back to a piece of advice I used to give myself a lot on this blog: that there are only two rules of writing that you really need. The first one is to commit, completely and totally, to whatever it is that you’re working on. The second one is to be able to change your mind, whenever you want, for whatever reason. And it can’t just be one or the other; it has to be both. Otherwise it doesn’t work.
So, I tried committing. I got somewhere with it. Now I’m changing my mind, because in all honesty it’s just not worth it to me right now. I feel, as I write that, that if I just pushed a little harder I could end up finding out that it is worth it to me. And I might do that.
And I might not.
Either way, it felt good to write something else today that just clicked, in a way that my witch book just isn’t doing. And generally for me, if it doesn’t click then it’s because there’s something very important missing. Maybe if I find out what that is I can make the witch book work. But for now, I think I’m more interested in finding something that gives me a little bit more to work with, even if that’s giving writing in general a break. I can always come back to it later. That is the great thing about writing: no matter what happens, it’s all exactly where you left it.
As long as you remember to back everything up. Rule 3 of writing.