Welcome back! Can you believe it’s already December? I can’t! I’ve stocked up on coffee, hot chocolate, teas, and good books to feast on in the coming cold months. I’ve bought the first Holiday gifts, planned my days off, and I’m even throwing a party for all of our “misfit” friends. There’s still so much to do!
Now that NaNoWriMo has finished many of you may have noticed that I am not shouting from the rooftops my victory… that’s because I did not complete NaNoWriMo this year. I’m heartbroken and disappointed in myself but as you continue reading please remember, what I am sharing with you is not a list of excuses for there are none, had I been more dedicated, I would have succeeded. Instead, I would like to share with you some of my experiences and what I learned this past November about myself and my writing.
In past NaNo events I have experienced “writer’s block” and I am a firm believer that no matter if your muses are present or not, you must keep writing. However, this year I had my first encounter with “The Slog”.
The dreaded Slog, give me writer's block any day, I think that would have been easier. Writer’s block I can push past, but The Slog is like writing while swimming in jello. For every chapter I finished, I was more confused about the next. Characters had confused voices, didn’t know their own history, and fought with me to get their stories heard. For every word I wrote I struggled to get three more out. I think most of this was my fault and little of theirs. Elrik and Eryn (spoilers!) were fun to write and enjoyable to watch grow daily. The problem rested in my “planning” choices.
This was the first time I have attempted plotting versus pantsing and I’m not sure it’s the correct tactic for my style of writing. I am a better version one pantser with version two plotting I think. My creativity is less stifled and words flow from my fingers like water from Niagara Falls. When I plotted I trudged through a choppy ocean with undertown enough to drown even the most seasoned swimmer, of which I am not.
I struggled and complained and was downright miserable while writing the first 26k words of Redemption and I couldn’t work up the motivation to write the remaining 24k. I made excuses, let myself get sick, went on vacation and destroyed my discipline. All of those choices led me to an incomplete with NaNoWriMo 2015. I’m not proud of it and I’m angry at myself for how this past November worked itself out, but you know what… I’ve learned something very valuable about myself and perhaps next year I will have enough historical knowledge that I’ll be set up for success.
Does this mean Elrik and Eryn’s story will never see print? Doubt it. I’m not done with them, I just need to go back to the drawing board for a bit. I need to find that creative spark for them like I did with Onnie and The Bookshop or Annabelle and Lucian’s stories. The spark is there, I know it is. I just need to rekindle it. Maybe I’ll see them in April for Camp? Who knows.