This year because I don't have the PhD hanging over my head I thought it would be a good time to try again. You know, good intentions. Like, I have all this free time, so let's fill it up with stressing out about cranking out words.
I'm one week in and something strange and unexpected has happened.
It's working. (cue Twilight Zone music)
I'm nearly caught up on today's goal, which will get me to just over 13K words so far on the draft.
I think it's working for 2 reasons:
1. I am returning to a novel I started back before the PhD, and have around 30K in the old draft. So I have a starting-off point. In fact, I have a bunch of them. I'm just randomly writing scenes and will plug them into their spots after NaNo is over.
2. I'm letting go. Seriously. Even though I have 30K of this draft from years ago, I don't have an outline. I mean, I have a general idea of where things so, but I never wrote a for-real outline for it, complete with sub-plots, etc. So every day when I sit to do NaNo words, I'm pantsing it. And it's strangely freeing.
I'm trusting myself, trusting my "backbrain" to know what's going on, and to know that maybe it knows things that my "frontbrain" doesn't. By letting go, I'm coming up with events in the novel that I didn't expect, and they seem to be working out so far.
Let go a bit. When I was a kid, my grandma always told me that if I was driving and a tire blew, to steer with the car rather than to force it to go where I wanted it to go. Writing a novel can be a bit like white-knuckling it over a snowy pass through the mountains in a car with shitty breaks. Best thing to do is to steer with it. (That's a crap metaphor, but you get what I mean.)