Last week I said I was going to tackle NaNoWriMo again this year and use it for motivation to work on my editing. That started Wednesday and I’m very happy to say that this has been the best week of writing I’ve had in months.

My plan was to get up and edit before I start work, but I’ve modified that slightly. I’m getting up early on the days I work from home, and on days I work in the office I’m doing my editing later in the day. Obviously, I’m only three days into that schedule, but so far, so good. On weekends I’m just going to write whenever makes sense in my day.

One of my friends from the writing group saw that I was planning to join NaNoWriMo, and reached out about it as they’d also been considering it. We’ve been touching base every day just for encouragement and motivation, and on Saturday did some writing sprints together. For the sprints we’re in different locations, but are in a chat together. We write at the same time for 25 minutes, then take a break and chat for a few minutes before getting back to it. It’s been really great to have this bit of support and encouragement every day. I truly have the best friends.

So far, I’ve participated every day and my current word count is 6934 (not counting whatever I get done today). It’s a weird hybrid total of new words I’ve written and existing words that I’ve worked through with editing. It’s a very small portion of what I need to accomplish, but it’s so much more than I’ve been able to get done lately. I’m delighted to see the progress. I’m finding the same thing I had the last time I had a morning writing habit – my whole day actually feels better because I’m starting the day with something I did for me, rather than giving all my energy away to my job first thing in the morning.

I’m still finding that rewriting scenes I considered finished is a challenge. I’m very slow with it and it feels like I have to really push to get the new words on paper. Writing the first draft, while I did struggle at times, usually felt very natural and easy. Rewriting is definitely a harder exercise, but I do think I’m getting better at it. I’m also full of ideas and plans, and I do really think the novel is going to be massively better for the changes I’m making.

The flip side is that the more I do rewrites, the more I think other things will need to change. I just did some big rewrites of the earliest parts of the book, but with what I got done yesterday I think I need to go back and tweak some of it again. There’s definitely some frustration tied to that, and I’m wary of getting stuck in an infinite loop of rewrites as I change one thing and it necessitates a rewrite of something else. It’s hard to say no to it though, when I do truly believe the novel is improving with what I’ve done.

So, this week’s challenges are two-fold: first, I need to make sure I keep up this fledgling daily habit I’m building. I’m so happy to have found some momentum after months of struggle, so I need to hang on to this. Secondly, I need to make sure I’m maintaining some kind of balance between important rewrites that are actually helping the story, and endless tweaks that start sliding into nit-picking. But I’m feeling good, I’m feeling supported, and it’s all amazing in writing land for the first time in ages. I’m wishing the same for all my fellow NaNoWriMo participants.

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