Day Five: in and out of flow

That’s right…there’s no Day Four. Don’t look for it. I was blindsided by my Monthly Migraine (TMI?) over the weekend, and flattened by 5 days of taking care of a sick child.

I *did* write on Friday, the “yooesh” (the “usual”…iCarly fans, anyone?). More importantly, I typed up what I wrote on Day One and got an accurate word count for The Yooesh…I’m averaging about 212 handwritten words on a page of college-ruled notepaper. Less than what I get on a typewritten, 1.5-lined page (250). So I decided to write 5 pages per day. Today I actually got in six, but it was pure quantity, not quality.

I’m expanding a scene I’ve written before — my protagonist’s first visit to a new apartment — but somehow managed to completely flip the building around and bring in new, confusing details that I’m not sure I’ll be keeping. After half a page, I stood up to walk around…it was not going right and I needed a break already, after just 5 minutes of writing! I read what I’d written previously on this scene, and realized I did not put in as much detail as I thought, so I let go and let the writing flow.

I had a note from last Friday for the blog: “saved knitting stuff = saved writing books.” I was going to talk about one of my favorite handicrafts and how I learned in 1992 (the time my story takes place, BTW) but then put all my new hobby purchases (needles, enough Rowan yarn for a complicated sweater, patterns, etc.) away for 12 years. At one point the whole box was in my garage (not the best place to store wool!) for about 6 of those years. Yikes.

Same thing, although more off and on and never in the garage, with my writing books. I have a small (3-shelf) bookshelf packed with various titles on writing, creativity, journaling, etc. The one I tried working with before, The Weekend Novelist, has disappeared; a bummer, since my most recent favorite writing book, Chapter After Chapter, recommends working with it. That’s the only missing book from my collection that seems to have been given away at some point…probably because I tried the process, and didn’t get a novel out of it.

The only thing that got a novel out of me — albeit a very short one! — was National Novel Writing Month. I “won” only one year out of 3 tries, and that is my “under the bed” novel — I have no desire to edit or work with it *at all.* It did teach me that I could do it…1,670 words a day for 30 days…and it got a lot of junk out of my head about what a novel “could” or “should” be (it was not the novel I’m working on now…I worked on this story the first year I did NaNo…and discovered a fantastic new character, but only got in 10,000 words instead of the 50,000 I needed…I was cheating anyway, working on “old” material).

So far I have not dreaded sitting down at my desk, not even on Friday, when the ghost of my migraine was trying to get in my head. I did write for well over an hour today and got in 2 extra pages, so I have reason to look forward to tomorrow. Again.

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