Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Hobbies

There's is something I've realized during NaNoWriMo is a problem, that I didn't think would be a problem. I thought I was going to get backed up with my plot, because I usually only plan out a few scenes at a time, and writing so much would mean I'd have to stop and plot every few days instead of every other week. And that's been happening, but the worst part is that I've just been so tired.

I don't say this to complain. I love that I am busily writing and seeing my story unfold. It's true that writing more and writing faster go hand in hand. It becomes more like watching a movie unfold in your brain than it does hashing out sentences. And I desperately want to know how the movie ends. But why is it that I can maniacally quilt for two weeks straight, stopping only to eat and sometimes shower, but less than a week of focusing on writing and I'm already getting burned out?

Well, for one, writing is mentally draining. After putting in a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is think. Whereas with quilting, while it does require me to think and work things out (especially when cutting fabric and trying to get everything you need from the piece you have), it is more something to do with my hands. My brain can wander, which is why I usually watch tv when I quilt. I can bang out a lot of seasons of a tv show when I'm quilting for six hours a day for wo weeks. (Quilting usually happens in marathons.)

And can we just, for a moment, focus on the crazy emotions? Your not just writing a death scene, your living through the goddamn death. How can you write in a character's voice if you don't momentary place yourself in their shoes? I make a lot of funny faces while I write when I am trying to get the right words for an emotion.

Word wars are interesting creatures, because they force you to write a lot of words in a short amount of time, and it doesn't give you a chance to feel the emotions. I've never written this much in so short a time. I like it. While I know there are endless problems with my draft, I'm an editor at heart, and I can't wait to have a framework to start playing with the words.

I don't really know how to combat this. Making sure I block out time to quilt would be the obvious thing, but my sewing machine is currently packed away. I have a really big project coming up, one that will be amazing and completely disrupt my NaNo schedule, but it's just so unspeakably awesome I don't care. It's going to be really tough to carve out writing time after the 16th. But maybe this project will be just what I need to recharge from all the writing. Who knows, maybe I'll see a jump in my writing? But I have a whole week of no work, so it'll be interesting to see where my focus goes.

So there's my NaNo update. I'm currently at 9k, and par for tonight is 13.3k. I hope to write a bit more tonight, but we'll see. I should have figured out my next three scenes but I wrote a blog post instead. It happens. Another thing I realized: the NaNo chat rooms are freaking awesome. Word wars every night from 9:30 to 11? Yes please! There's got to be a way to get people together for this all year long. Oh yeah, there is. Writing groups.

So who wants to start a writing group with me?

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