“Why do I write? Perhaps in order not to go mad.”
Elie Wiesel

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

this november you see will be just fine
Tue 2015-11-10 23:20:32 (in context)
  • 9,437 words (if poetry, lines) long

So I'm doing NaNoWriMo again. You may recall.

I had the ambitious but perfectly reasonable plan that NaNoWriMo would take up the bulk of my afternoon shift each work day. That is, every Tuesday through Friday, my two hours of working on fiction in the afternoon would be spent producing word count on this new novel. There are 16 Tuesday-through-Fridays in November 2015; I would therefore be responsible for 3,125 words at each session.

Easy. I typically spew some thousand words of freewriting in a single 25-minute timed session. All I have to do is make sure I work all my afternoon shifts.

Well, that turned out to be easier said than done. For reasons already explained elsewhere as well as for other reasons less good and virtuous than those, the first week of November was almost entirely a bust. I got my Friday Fictionette out, but that was all. I haven't even typewriter'd up October's "fictionette artifact" for my gracious Patron, and that's for yet another reason--at some point during the first week of November, I sprained my effin' thumb.

In the grand scheme of things, it's minor. Recommended treatment is to wear my brace whenever I can, give it frequent time under a warm water bath or heating pad, take ibuprofen strategically, and be patient. The pain comes and goes. Oddly, the thing that really brings it on is the natural hanging/swinging motion of arms and wrists that happens during upright perambulation. So I especially make sure to wear my brace while walking or running.

But I can't wear it when I skate, because I have to wear my wrist guards instead. And they don't provide as much stabilization as the brace. Which means that after Sunday's practice, my thumb and wrist were sore again, and after Monday night helping to train the Phase 1 (beginning skating skills) class, things were downright painful. Typing on my laptop this morning and afternoon was a very awkward endeavor. Attempting to pilot a manual typewriter? Unthinkable.

But when my gear came off after tonight's practice, the affected area was magically painless. Typing is fairly comfortable now. I don't get it, I don't trust it, but I'm going to take full advantage of it. If the thumb and wrist feel no worse tomorrow, I'll haul out the typewriter and see if it's manageable.

But anyway--that's what I've got to show for Week 1. Whine, whine, whine; excuses, excuses. But, as planned, I had a writing date on Saturday that got me my first chunk of 3,125. I had another successful session on Monday, and yet another today. Which means my original ambitious-but-reasonable plan still holds, except that it's now Monday-Friday rather than just Tuesday-Friday. Which is fine.

Now, I feared that I'd only have enough story idea to see me through the first three thousand words, and indeed, at the time, having written none of them yet, that was true. But it's amazing how one session leads to another. And how one sentence leads to another. And how, if you give yourself permission to follow every tangent, one throw-away line leads to several hundred words of flashback that reveal more about the character than maybe you already knew, which in turn informs the next scene, which spawns follow-on scenes and more flashbacks and maybe even plot involving incidental secondary characters you threw in just to make a previous scene work, and...

And that's how I know everything is going to be just fine.