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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Greetings from the Writing Cave...Now Go Away

I've been sequestered in my writing cave of late, occasionally coming up for air to tweet about scenes that are soft in the middle, or giggle at the internet meme of binders full of women.

But mostly I've been writing my ass off. I've been clocking about 1-1.5k a day. That may not seem like very much, but I only have about 3 hours of writing time a day and part of that time is spent drinking coffee and staring out into space. It's amazing to me that I can write nearly as much a day now, writing a fairly tight first draft, as I did doing NaNoWriMo when I was throwing words up against the wall to see what sticks.

This leads me to two separate but related questions:
1) Are you doing NaNoWriMO? Why/why not? I'm not doing it this year, and probably not ever again. While participating definitely was the springboard for me to get serious about writing, ultimately, I agree with Maggie Stievater (who's RAVEN BOYS audiobook I am OBSESSED with)- what you gain by getting your arse in gear and writing, you lose by having to go back in and heavily alter/edit/rewrite what you didn't have the space to think properly about in the first place. Read Maggie's NaNo thoughts here. Bonus Question: What do you think?

2) What does your writing cave look like? I thought I'd be the kind of person who needed 'things' to get me writing. Like, a lucky pencil, or a special coffee mug. I even bought a pair of silver owl bookends (before I actually started to write, when I thought I might like to write.) But none of those kinds of things help. I write anywhere and everywhere, as long as there's music. Library, Starbucks, screen room, dining room table, bed. Right now, I'm a beggar who can't be choosy. But how about you?

7 comments:

  1. Yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo. This will be my first year doing it. Of course, I don't expect to have a publisher-ready novel in a month, but I just want to see how far I can go with this.

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    1. the rest of my writing group is doing NaNo, so you're in good company! Good luck - NaNo is great for lighting a fire.

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  2. I prefer to draft my novels in 3-6 months, so no to the NaNO question. And as for the writing cave, I write from bed or couch. Period. But I can revise beautifully in the car. Congrats on the myriads of words. Now go away. ^_^

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    Replies
    1. I envy your bed/couch writing - too ouchy for my back. are you driving while revising? you know that's illegal in six states, right? :)

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  3. Yep, NaNo addict here. Last year was my first, and--probably because I'm a really goal-oriented person, but a pantster at heart--I loved it. Won, too. Since Dec. 1 I've been looking forward to Nov. 1, haha. I agree, though--the editing of a NaNo novel is *not* fun, but it works for me because all my writing is NaNo-ish. I'm organic, zero planning, start only with a vague idea, a "what if" or a character that doesn't let me sleep at night. My first drafts are more like Draft Zero. It's ok, it's my process and I've accepted it. I finished my first novel (in three months) in August last year, and I've been editing non-stop since (except for Nov. 2011). It's been past beta readers, my critique group, and now I'm about to deliver the second round of revisions to my editor. Fourteen months to edit a three-month writing spree... Something wrong with that picture, eh? And I don't even want to think about last year's NaNo novel--aside from the fact that it's not finished (50K for me is about half the novel), the editing will be epic. This year I'm starting a new novel... So I guess my writing tasks are pretty solidly set for even the not-so-near future :)

    Writing cave. Hmm. I write at my dining table. The house is open-plan, so I'm also in the living room, only a breakfast bar separating me from the kitchen. Dogs all around (especially these days, because of the rain), a view out to the yard, guitar music spilling from the speakers in the bookcases, research books strewn around the laptop (one on the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City, and a TS Eliot volume). Not sure it qualifies as a cave, but it works for me :)

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  4. I shudder at the thought of NANO - I need that contemplative space. Occasionally I can crank out 2-3k in a given day but my usual is a steady eddy speed of 500-1000 words and that works pretty well.

    I do have a writing cave, and it's my favorite place to write, but I also have a favorite desk in our local library and can occasionally sneak in a word or two at the day job. I can't write when there are tons of people socializing and talking though. too distracting.

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  5. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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