Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Feast Or Famine

I have a form of writer's bulimia. For several days, I'll spew out words at an amazing rate. Double-digit page counts are not unusual. The ideas keep flowing and the stuff just keeps coming out. I love these binging days.

But then comes those days when I'm lucky to open the document at all. I have no motivation to write, can't think of anything more creative than typing my name in a font different than Times New Roman, and would pretty much rather do anything than stare at my blank screen. Not so much a purge because I don't get rid of anything, but definitely a 180 degree drop off.

It's feast or famine in my world. Something I'm trying to work on evening out. Fill in those zero-productivity days with a reasonable minimum whether I feel like it or not.

Except, for some reason this makes me feel like I need to slow down on those manic days. Rationing, if you will. Like if I let myself have free reign to write as many words as I have time to write, I'll use up my quota of words for the month and have nothing left for the dry days.

For example, yesterday I wrote quite a bit more than the 2,275 words I'm reporting. BTW - I've set my daily NaNo word count goal at 3,000 because if I stick with the recommended 1,667, I'll have a partially finished manuscript at the end of November instead of a finished one, and Lord knows I don't need any more of those. Anyway, coming to that 2K plus number proved to be a bit tricky. The story idea I've chosen is actually one on which I've worked a little bit in the past. I got about one chapter written before wandering off to explore the next Great Premise.

I decided for NaNo to start fresh. Pull up a blank Word document, type "Chapter 1" and get to work. Meets the requirement stated by NaNo that you must start fresh, right? Except, as I was writing, I kept remembering little bits and pieces from the original Chapter 1. Finally I broke down and opened it, reread it, and gleaned from it some lines and paragraphs that I'd remembered and remembered liking.

But!! But, I did not count any words I cut and pasted in as words written. I colored all the old text blue, then only counted the black, new words I'd written that day. Plus, to keep things really fair, I rounded down slightly when there was a paragraph in which the two intermingled. This lead to my total reported word count being lower than what I actually did write, but really, who cares.

Starting today, I'm out of old stuff. Everything going forward is new. I'm warming up right now and ready to dig in.

It's a binging day. We'll see what happens.


Jordan Summers said...

Good luck!!! You CAN do it!

Alyssa said...

You're doing great! I'm so impressed with your word count.