July is Camp NaNoWriMo. Time to kick my butt in gear and get some writing done. I had a simple task: transcribe handwritten first draft notes, of The Department of Curiosities, from my notebook to Scrivener in preparation for rewrites and edits.
My goal? Twenty thousand words. Not a monthly record (that was 33,792 words in April last year) but more than my average of 15000 words. The more words down, the closer I am to the scheduled end of the year book launch. I grabbed my notebook and started typing. This should be easy.
Or so I thought.
One thing I learned with Doctor Jack and Other Tales was to expect the unexpected. Well, I got them – in spades.
First, the unexpected:
Day 1-7: A cracked tooth and an emergency visit to the maxillio-facial surgeon for tooth extraction which got infected resulting in two weeks of painkillers and antibiotics. Two weeks of blurgh. Seven days lost.
Day 7-10: The antibiotics finally started to kick in. I felt human again. I showed some promise, though I was still muddle-headed. At least I was mainly transcribing. My cabin buddy inspired me to get cracking.
Day 11-14: It was slow going. The challenge was to rid my headspace of Doctor Jack and reacquaint myself with a different set of heroes and villains. It had been six months since penning the almost complete manuscript for The Department of Curiosities. I had forgotten where my characters had been left hanging (literally, by the way). Eventually, I got a handle on their adventures and we were having a ball.
Then the self-inflicted:
Day 15-21 : My Inner Editor invited itself to the party. I managed one day of shuffling, rewriting and nitpicking over small details before I got discouraged. Then Procrastination gatecrashed. These annoying Unexpecteds do tend to travel in packs. Curse their seductive ways!
Maybe a little research would prove productive?
Day 21: I finally got the courage to check my Camp NaNo project stats. Oh dear. Ten days and no progress. That was it! My Inner Editor had to go. I fortified myself with endless cups of tea and extra dark chocolate. I was determined to kick IE in the butt. Ten days lost.
Day 22-25: … despite a minor bout of vertigo… resulting in cracking my head on an errant tree branch and minor concussion. Three more days lost.
This had an unexpected consequence – it shocked my muse into productivity. It may have been the delerium deluding me but, hey, I was on a roll. I really didn’t give a hoot when my Inner Editor nudged me – and it has several times in the past few days. I had managed to transcribe almost three chapters in four days. I now have several notes to tackle continuity, some minor plot changes and ditched a ream of repeats. Best of all I have more than doubled my word count.
Today I sit at 16129 words – almost five chapters – just over the required word count to keep me on track to my goal. My head is starting to clear. My hope is it all makes sense when I go back for the next round of rewrites.
A writer’s life is fraught with many obstacles. Some are self-inflicted, some beyond our control. The biggest hurdle is to tackle the dreaded Inner Editor and kick its ass.
This month I may have lost twenty days but I have gained five chapters.
That is my revenge.