NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month] is changing my life. I expected it to be hard, exhausting, and consuming; and it has definitely lived up to those descriptions. But, for me, it is also cleansing and a journey of discovery. With a week under the belt I have over 21,000 words and my expected date of completion is November 19 currently.
On Thursday I churned out 6,000 words alone, my best to date. The task drained me and yesterday I reached a minimum. The important thing is that I wrote. And I am continuing to write.
The most interesting part is my personal interaction with the characters I’ve created. They surprise me. We have discussions and arguments about their lives. I can see a reflection of me in each of them, even the antagonist (which isn’t a person but more of the ideology of society).
‘Tortured writer,’ has a new meaning for me. It’s not just sitting at a desk, coffee or drink in hand barreling out words until one sheet of paper doesn’t become a makeshift basketball for the garbage. ‘Tortured writer’ is the emotional connection I have to my characters, to write their story with integrity, justice, continuity. For those I want to suffer, I make their suffering real, and with the hopes that the situation they are in garners the appropriate reaction of sympathy. If I’m off doing something else other than writing I’ll often have to stop to jot down a new idea or a phrase that really brings in the story to its crucial points.
The support of my friends has been fantastic. I’ve told them a bit about my story and they all have voiced their support that I can write this story. My family is a little more apprehensive, but I believe their concern is about the constant cries of back pain from me sitting at a chair all day (and night).
I can’t believe it has only been eight days in.
If I feel this much different, I wonder who I will be on December 1, when all the writing has stopped and hopefully I will have surpassed the 50,000 word minimum.
I’ll try and check in with my observations every week.