I think I've mentioned that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year after taking a couple of years off. After being the municipal liason in the last region I was in, it's really nice just to kick back and write as a participant. I'm not responsible for anything other than my novel. (Well, as far as NaNo is concerned, anyway)
I'm having fun with it. I have other ideas that I would like to work on, but I chose to go with one that I had a pretty good grasp on, but could benefit from just pouring out on the page and understanding that there would be a lot of revision later.
I'm not going to tell you about the writing process, the characters, making things up on the fly, planning, or anything like that. All I want to share right now is how 'contained' NaNo is for me this year.
In past years, NaNo has been this thing that has encompassed the entire month. It's what my social calendar revolved around. It was what I thought of when I woke up, and when I went to sleep. I ate, slept, and drank noveling. And there was nothing particularly wrong with that, but even if I stuck to the 1,700 prescribed word count per day, I was so sick of writing by the time December rolled around.
This year, it's been different. I don't know why. I actually have much less to do than in past years, so if novel writing wanted to take up all day, if it wanted to keep me up writing into the wee hours of the night, it could! Instead, I sit down either in the morning or at night, for up to a couple of hours, and write.
I don't fix up a writing playlist, I don't try to make the perfect writing spot. I just sit down and I write. Granted, yes, I had a very good outline going into the month. It would take me a lot longer to write if I didn't. But when I finish a scene, I think back to my outline and think, 'okay, now what needs to happen to get to this?' and I go from there.
You know what? It's nice. This feels sustainable, when I'm not trying to make writing the only thing I do in a day. I have a good feeling that come December first, I'm not going to throw up my hands and walk away from this novel for six months.
Maybe writing doesn't have to be this extra special 'event', maybe treating it like it's not much different (but just as important) and cleaning out the litter box is the key. It's writing. It's this thing I do.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a character that I need to disillusion. Sorry, Abigail.