Yes folks, it's that time of year again when writers of all stripes and flavours set pens to paper and/or fingers to keyboards to crank out some 50,000 words by month's end. This annual writer's marathon which began on Saturday, November 1, is billed as a
"fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel."Check out the NaNoWriMo website for all the details.
As was the case last year, I'm not a registered participant because firstly I'm not writing a novel and secondly, I'm not that driven, and so I'm doing a 'Lite' version. My approach is a little more relaxed because I've learned, finally, that it's okay to give myself permission to have fun, to accept the better offer when it comes along without obligingly picking up a side order of guilt, and it's okay to attend to my own well being.
My efforts last year got hijacked by the sudden appearance of a visual aberration that caused words to appear smeared down the centre field of view. The problem (epiretinal membrane in both eyes) persists and is even a little worse this time round, though apparently still not bad enough for corrective surgery.
I am undeterred! Over the past months I have learned to tinker with lighting, font size and type (yes - serifs make a big difference!), and line spacing so as to limit the impact of the aberration. I've learned to manage my time at the keyboard, limiting it to 30 minutes at a time so as to ward off eye strain, fatigue and headaches. I find it rather intriguing that I have less difficulty with my handwritten work. I do my best writing, my most creative and evocative writing, with my favourite fountain pen flowing across smooth white paper. When transcribing my longhand writing to the laptop, I don't have much difficulty deciphering the blue ink script. I suspect because my brain has already had a hand in the writing; it knows then what the words are on the page.
So what does NaNoWriMo Lite look like this year? Ah well I have a plan, a very organized plan to get my manuscript back on track, in just 3 hours a day x 30 days.
Week 1: Days 1 &2 - reacquaint myself with Scrivener®
Days 3 - 7 - outline, outline, outline; get all those pieces already written and yet to be written, organized!
Weeks 2 - 4: WRITE!And how's it going so far?
Saturday: 4 hours (impressive eh?) updating the software, tinkering with the fonts - thank goodness for technology and good software architects who allow for format modifications, however tedious it may be to find the right menu and tab to do so - and working through some of the tutorial. My muse, reawakened from a long snooze at a writer's retreat two weeks ago, spent the entire time twitching in my write hand.
Sunday: 3 hours struggling to get through a few more tutorial lessons before giving up and moving on to reviewing what was already on my Scrivener® outline. My muse fought me every step of the way, her protests getting louder every minute, "I want to write. Forget the bloody outline. I want to write! Please let me write."
Today: All right, already! I hear ya. Come on babe, let's go write.
©2014 April Hoeller