The sun is shining. The birds are singing and Day 2 of Camp NaNoWriMo has come to an end. My total word count now lies at 1615 words, a huge improvement from my 409 word start yesterday. What changed over the past twenty four hours? Simple. I conquered writer’s block. I gathered reinforcements, marched up to the castle, and smashed a battering ram against the gates until the wood cracked and my army invaded the kingdom.
What follows is a re-enactment of my encounter with writer’s block:
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. (Or that funny). I didn’t really siege a well protected kingdom (although writer’s block can certainly seem like an unbreachable fortress at times), but I did clear a clot in my story and that is significant in itself.
I’m someone who likes to outline my novels. I know the broad strokes of what will happen. That wasn’t the part of the writing process that I was struggling with. I just couldn’t find the words. They eluded me, slipped out of my hand like a bar of soap every time I thought that I had them in my grasp. The first version of the chapter that I am currently working on was more like a bulleted list of events than an actual narrative. I couldn’t get inside my protagonist’s head. I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
So what did I do?
I talked to someone in my life whom I trust. I know there is an old myth that writer’s shouldn’t take about the story they are working on because it will lose some of it’s magic. I think that’s a load of crap. A novel is a living thing. What it becomes is shaped by the influence of the author and the readers. When it comes to drafting, I think that it is important to get input when it is needed. In this case, my writing was at a standstill. My ideas weren’t working and I needed to pick someone else’s brain. So I did and it worked. I was finally able to draft the whole chapter. It still needs some work, but it’s in a much better place than it was yesterday.
Now, this method of conquering writer’s block may not work for every situation. Sometimes, you need to figure things out for your own. Sometimes, you need to pull your hair out and metaphorically bleed before you find the solution to your narrative conundrum. The important thing is not to give up.
So, how did Day 2 go for you? Did you get your words in? Did you conquer writer’s block or “slay your dragons?” Whatever the case, feel free to leave a comment below.
Now, a selection from my writing playlist. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. An undisputed classic.
Until tomorrow, kill your darlings, slay your dragons, and keep writing.
Camp NaNoWriMo Stats
Target Word Count: 20,000
Words Written Today: 1,206
Total Word Count: 1,615
Words Remaining: 18,385