I’ve been really struggling this week. Not just with a bad cold, conjunctivitis and a newly-unemployed husband at home scuppering my writing routine. None of those things has helped, of course, any more than the freezing rain, or the end of British Summer Time that has resulted in my kids getting up at 5.30pm every day.
No, what’s really killed my Muse at the worst possible time is the appearance of an unknown character in my head: my Willing Editor.
I’ve met my Inner Editor before – that nasty critic who stops me writing before I’ve even started and tells me everything I write is rubbish. I’m even on nodding acquaintance with my Reluctant Editor. The one who half-edited Pictures of Love before getting bored, and who tortuously ploughed through Dragon Wraiths to meet a deadline.
But to want to edit? To want to edit more than write something new for NaNoWriMo?
I think the change came when my husband commented on how much easier it was to read the second draft of Dragon Wraiths and has told me several times since how impressed he is at how good my editing was.
Praise – it works every time.
Also I’m deliriously happy that I managed to edit Dragon Wraiths enough to make the darn thing actually made sense. For the first time editing has produced tangible results rather than just giving me a headache. Hurrah.
Well it’s Nano. I wasn’t going to do it this year, knowing I had too many projects on and am neglecting the family as a result. But I got swept up in the online chat, the excitement, the buzz (although that’s not being helped at present by the fact I’m not receiving the pep-talk emails. I really miss them and hope the guys at Nano fix the problem soon.) I persuaded my husband and my best friend to give NaNoWriMo a try this year. I wrote my top tips which said just get on and do it.
Then I got Writer’s block on a scale I’ve never experienced before. It has taken me five days to even settle on a topic and the one I have chosen is an old novel idea that’s so technical I keep getting dragged off into research. Thus far I’ve managed 1600 words including the synopsis.
Oh, and I’ve edited 30 pages of Pictures of Love. Properly this time. And do you know what? I think I enjoyed that more!
What if anything has derailed your NaNoWriMo this year? Will you get back on track? I now have a dual target of 50k words and 500 pages of editing for November. Apparently I work best under pressure.
p.s. one of my best NaNoWriMo-avoidance activities this week was making a mock front cover for Dragon Wraiths so I could print a copy for my mum for her birthday. It’s not what I’d choose for a final cover but I was pleased I managed to turn a word doc into a printed Lulu book (interior and exterior) in eight hours!