One week ago, I wrote here that I was going to do NaNoWriMo this month and post weekly updates. And here we are at the end of week one and so I suppose it’s time for an update. I started with plenty of time (for the first five days), a blank screen and ideas for ten short stories scribbled in my notebook. A couple of those ideas were quite developed but most of them consisted of a couple of sentences describing a situation or a character. Some were phrased like a writing prompt. Something like, “write a story about a pair of tango shoes.” I have yet to use that prompt, although a story involving tango shoes is starting to form in my head (inspired by one of the stories I wrote this week!).
So here is a quick update on this past week of trying to get as many words on paper as possible and integrating my writing routine in my daily life:
1. I wrote two short stories and the third is well on the way! They are first drafts and will for sure still require a lot of work, but taking into consideration that I worked for several weeks to complete one story over the summer, I am quite happy with this outcome.
2. Having lots of time does not necessarily help me write more. I had the first five days of this month off with just a few social commitments and although I did manage to get ahead on my word count, I didn’t write as much as I expected to.
3. Nevertheless, when I am working full time, which is since day 6, it is very difficult for to write for a long period every day. Writing in the morning before work has not been successful, but I have managed to write every day so far. However since day 6, I have written at most around 1000 words per day. So at this rate I will not make it to 50 000 words unless I engage in some “binge writing” this weekend. Evenings are always more productive for me, even if I can just write for an hour or so.
4. Music helps me to write, but it is also a distraction. Because all of my stories are related to tango, music plays a very important role. This week, I spent a lot of time doing “research” on youtube in search of the perfect tango, milonga or vals for a particular moment of a story, instead of just writing something like “insert perfect tango song” into my story. This has happened A LOT while writing my latest story, in which the main character is a DJ … I guess it is just another form of procrastination…
5. It is really, really difficult for me not to edit or at least correct spelling as I type. There are some things which are just a real eyesore to me if I see them on the page! But I have turned off the spellcheck to try to mitigate this!
6. I can write a story and finish it, even if I don’t know where it is going when I start 🙂
Now I am off to hopefully write another few hundred words before bedtime. Note that the words I write for this blog do not count!!
If you are also doing NaNoWriMo, let me know in the comments how your first week went!