Monday, November 3, 2008

Postmarathon Warm Up

I started NaNo with a bang, on a weekend, with lots of free time to write. I was motivated to power through 2,667 words (8 pages) a day to reach my 80,000-words-in-a-month goal. I was excited to be writing again. I could do this!

Then I wrote, and was reminded that sustained creativity takes a lot of energy. Like taking the SATs, somehow creativity can drain physical energy. In essence, I was trying to run a marathon without training or warming up.

Even over the weekend, where I had no other taxing demands on my time, I was 167 words short of the 2,667 words on the first day, and 677 words short on the second day. I'm keeping track on a lovely Excel sheet (complete with inspiring colors), and I would look at the totals for the day, see how far ahead I was of my 50,000-words-in-a-month goal (833 words ahead on Saturday, 1,323 on Sunday) and be elated. Then I'd look at my 80,000-words-in-a-month-goal column and see how far behind I was, and suddenly I'm thinking how much I suck. This is simply not a good roller coaster to be on at the end of a session of writing.

So I'm removing the column that makes me feel like I'm failing even when I'm doing exceptionally well, and I'm going to take a more realistic approach to this challenge. My daily word count goal is back to 1,667 words a day, and anything above and beyond that is a plus.

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