05 December 2010
NaNoWriMo Wrap up
And I learned.
I learned not to burn myself out. I did two complete rewrites (a screenplay and a novel manuscript) back to back and then immediately started writing the first draft of my Nano project. I was already tired. I needed to escape the stories in my head, have some social interaction, enjoy a book. I needed to get some sleep. Subconsciously, I think I knew this, because I chose to read all of the Harry Potters last month. I could have finished my novel if I put Harry down, but I didn't. Because last month, I needed to read.
Another thing I learned is that first drafts are just as hard as rewrites. Hard in completely different ways, but hard none the less. I had been rewriting and thinking about rewriting for so long (okay, only a few months, but it felt like years) that I had forgotten what it was like to write a first draft. Yes, sometimes it's brilliant, I feel smart and witty, the words come and the story is going places. But sometimes I have to push for fifty more words, then a hundred, never mind seventeen hundred.
I'm starting another rewrite this month. I'm taking this week off to do nothing but read. Of course, I'll be doing some prep. I can't just turn off the writer in me. I'll be reading Writing For Emotional Impact, going over my script notes, and reading my screenplay for the first time in over six months. But that will definitely be taking it easy. I'll be able to go to my project fresh, because I allowed myself the time to really think about where I'm going with this rewrite.
And I'll be going in excited, because I reminded myself what first drafts are really like. Before Nano I had this false memory of happy easy writing and was resentful of all the rewriting I had to do when I had all these brilliant ideas that would just fall onto the page if I could only find the time for them. Oh, how quickly I forget. One day I will carve out time for them, but they won't fall onto the page. They will be forcibly thrown there and in major need of rewriting.
For now, I'm happy. I push myself and it constantly makes me a better writer and a better person. I like the story I started in November. I have a rewrite to do (it's time sensitive, not just me getting bored and switching), but I do plan to go back and finish my Nano project. Happy writing!