“How many words?” my husband asked when he came downstairs from reading a book.
I’d only left him 30 minutes earlier. I checked my word count. Wow.
He is not a writer, but he has been following my progress, so that he knows approximately what these words usually cost in time and effort. He knew I hadn’t written all day. So he was impressed by the profuseness of tonight’s session.
“I’m telling you, the editor is OFF, gone, not in house tonight.”
He smiled and chuckled a little.
“How else do you think I got 900 words?”
This is another secret of the Nano. Somewhere I read a claim that this was not for the serious novelist. But I don’t think that is true.
For the serious writer, it teaches us to let go. Through this process, I have been learning how to let the words flow on demand. On demand. And while it is true that much of what I am writing is embarrassing, I have also written much that would never have come to light if I had not just let go. Lots of good stuff. And tonight, I did not “stuff” anything. Everything I wrote was directly related to the story that I am unfolding. I learned more about the characters. It made me want to go back and revise a couple of things, but of course, I don’t have time. But I’m excited that I’m caring about this enough to worry about continuity, and that the characters are coming alive to me. Their relationships are becoming more complex and real.
I’ve written several short stories, but never a novel. To be frank, it kind of scared me. It is a huge undertaking.
This little trip is doing a lot to help me get rid of that fear. I am feeling confident right now that if I had a story well outlined, I would be able to do this again, and better.
To all of you serious writers out there worried about failure – in quality or quantity – just let go. Let go and write. Celebrate the flow of words onto the page.