Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.
Filed under "The Mental Game"
First, my enthusiasm began to wane. Not my enthusiasm for my novel or the story - quite the opposite - but my enthusiasm for the NaNoWriMo challenge itself. I’m starting to get a feel for the story and the plot; ideas come to me faster than I can type, but I’m experiencing an inner rebellion about the time and word count constraints of NaNo. In short, I’m not feeling it. I don’t want to push through to the prescribed word count, paying no heed to the quality of the words, for the express purpose of arriving at the designated word count goal. I don’t want to prevent myself from going back to the first chapter and rewriting it because chapter four changed everything, simply because editing and rewriting are Na-NO's.
Then, there are my hands. Despite my finding and using these very helpful stretches for my arms and wrists - I’ve been in a considerable amount of pain the last few days. Saturday I woke up and knew I couldn’t put hand to keyboard. I took some NSAID tablets, gave my forearms a massage and stayed off the computer all day long. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I couldn’t sleep Saturday night because my forearms and wrists ached so much that they kept me awake, tossing and turning.
Sunday I got out the wrist braces and took another day off from the keyboard. I took the computer-free time to do some mind-mapping, brainstorming and note-taking on my story…all with pen and my new notebook dedicated to this novel. I worked on editing my printed WiP1 manuscript. Writing with a pen didn’t feel bad at all…making me ponder the madness of writing out longhand some of my story.
Today, I’m braving the keyboard again. I’ve set a timer to go off every half hour for a stretching and walking break. These braces make typing difficult, but they do alleviate the strain and even the discomfort. Out went the horrible iMac mouse and in I plugged the bamboo tablet. The pen feels more natural in my hand, no pain.
I don’t know how this NaNoWriMo challenge will end this November. I don’t doubt that I’ll finish my draft, but I’m not sure of the time frame of 30 days. I’ll keep forging (I typed "foraging" at first, but that seems to fit, too) ahead. On the upside, some great ideas are coming to me, and the plot is developing. I’m getting the hang of fleshing out the scenes and connecting them to form my story. It isn’t something I can easily describe, other than to say that things are starting to click. I have hope for my WiP1, and I think WiP2 will turn out to be a pretty good first draft, at least, better than WiP1's first draft. Plot holes be damned, full speed ahead! Or, full turtle speed ahead.
How goes it for everyone else? Anyone doing the AW Novel Challenge along with NaNo? Anyone else feeling the heat rising off of their inflamed wrists and tendons?