I Need Caffeine!

Stacey Kite

Tea, tea, where the *#*%* did I leave my stupid tea?

It’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I need caffeine!

That’s my new, morning (and by morning, I mean 4:00 am) mantra.

You see, last Wednesday, November 1 (that’s important), I was complaining to a writing friend (Megan) that my biggest writing issue is that I’m a slow writer, and by slow, I mean geologic, not sloth-like.

So, she pointed out, in a very helpful manner, that November 1, was the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I should give it a try this year.

I said, “Yeah, but you can’t write a good book in a month.”

And she said, “I know, but I was listening to the Writing Excuses podcast, and they made the point that writing well and writing fast are two different skills. You’ve been working really hard on one, but not the other. Maybe you should do NaNoWriMo this year and learn how to write faster, and then maybe you can combine the two skills.”

OK—she had a point. And like the idiot I am, I started arguing her side.

“You know, Eh-Toc is all plotted out. It’s ready to go–mostly. I could try to write its first draft for NaNoWriMo.”

“No. Not try,” she said, like some writing Yoda. “You’ll do it.” Her enthusiasm was infectious, like a plague of optimism.

“OK. You’re right. I’m going to do it.”

“Yay! Yay!” Happy clapping and the sound of excited jumping from the phone. “But you really need Scrivener. They have a thirty-day free trial and November is thirty days long, which makes it a perfect fit.”

Ah—the mighty hand of serendipity.

So, I signed up for both NaNoWriMo and Scrivener’s free trial.

The trying out Scrivener is important, because I’m using that as my excuse for my dismal performance on NaNoWriMo over the weekend. The first day, last Wednesday, was great; I wrote 1667 words, and on Thursday, I wrote 1666 words. But then on Friday, I decided to take a couple of hours to work through the Scrivener tutorial which the Scrivener people say should take around two hours.

Not for me. More like two days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m already a Scrivener fan and am definitely going to buy it. And I think the tutorial was well worth the time, even if it took a while, but it would have made more sense to learn the program before or after NaNoWriMo, rather than during its first weekend. That’s my big NaNoWriMo insight so far. I only wrote 1,194 words between Friday morning and Sunday night. Which is demoralizing.

But now, I’m getting back on track—kind of. Yesterday, I wrote 727 words on my NaNoWriMo project. That’s not great, it’s less than half the daily goal, but I also wrote 822 words on my Sci-fi story, so my total production for yesterday was 1,549, which is way better than what I usually write in a day.

But I really need to put the writing pedal to the metal now, so I’m going to get back to work. I’ll let you guys how my NaNoWriMo adventure turns out. Wish me luck and good skills. I’ll need both.

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