NaNoWriMo 2018: week 3 sees my tricks for overcoming doubt used to good effect

If there’s something I know about NaNoWriMo it’s that I can do this. 50K words in a month isn’t a huge deal for me. I’m a fast typer*. What I don’t know, and looking at my previous posts, I’ve never known, is how to tell a story. So why do I do this?

I’ve already said that I was concerned I wasn’t quite as well-planned for this month as I wanted to be. With each day that passes, it becomes more obvious that I wasn’t. The strands aren’t quite coming together. On the other hand, all kinds of unexpected things have happened as I had an idea an allowed my self to run with it.

I write because I  enjoy the process. There’s something in the mundane grind of it that’s deeply satisfying. Seeing words appear on the page, enjoying the silky feel of the keyboard keys, how Courier New looks on screen: that is why I do this.

In November, I try to put my critical faculties on hold for a bit. I sit on the bus and write and I can feel my mind splitting into two. One side’s thinking ‘oh, this isn’t good, all of this will have to go, why write it in the first place?’ The other side is saying ‘it’s exploration writing, it’s fine, you’re getting comfortable in the world’. The faster I write, the less I can think. This is a good thing because the when I think, doubt creeps in.

Doubt, a skinnier version of fear, is the word-count killer. I’m getting good at side-stepping it.

Reading the latest Ben Aaronovich for inspiration. I’m in awe of his dialog.

21 November 2018: 35,136

* I’m not boasting. I’m writing for bulk, not for quality. These are not 50K good words (as my partner found out when he transcribed some of my handwritten words on Sunday).

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