Understanding

April 22, 2014

So after producing a little over 67,000 words in just over 2.5 months, I sense I've hit—not a block; let's not call it a block, let's really not—a mild speed bump.

I don't want to call it a block because I believe it's just my brain resting for a bit. The word count above is my best since NaNoWriMo 2012, and while that was an interesting exercise, it wasn't much fun. Whereas what I've been writing since January IS fun, and I fully expect it to continue in that vein.

The problem with NaNoWriMo is that I became a slave to the word count, and the story suffered as a result. Right now, I've reached a story point that needs a little simmering. I haven't found quite the right spice blend yet. Whereas before, I might have felt angst at not producing, at the moment I'm perfectly fine with letting my mind noodle away on the problem in the background while I attend to other things, because I know that giving the story that space will ultimately make it better.

The other important difference is that I also know not to let myself wallow for too long in simmer mode. If I don't come out of it naturally in a few days, I'll just kickstart the process again, even if that means a few 100- to 250-word days.

I think what I'm enjoying most about Project Shorty is finally coming to terms with some of my limitations and weaknesses. Viewed from the right angle, and harnessed properly, some of them can even be turned into strengths.

Every writer is different, and for every writer, every project is different. Know thyself, fight or surrender at the appropriate moments, and the words will flow.

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