NaNoWriMo Day 18: Solitude and a (mostly) steady pace

The wind is whipping around the house, roaring and blustering, and rain is spattering the front window. I find myself staring outside, craving something warm and comforting.

I feel reflective and content.

After a rather up and down few days, unrelated to novel writing, I finally took a break from writing yesterday to relax and hang out with my family. I didn’t think about the story (much), I stayed in the moment.

In the past, when blogging, I have taken a day off here and there and have usually returned refreshed, full of ideas and ready to write.

Not so today.

I’ve written the requisite number of words for today, to ensure that I will indeed finish on time. But having reached that magic number, I feel myself winding down. But that’s ok.

I don’t love what I’ve written, but I am enjoying the trip down memory lane, walking the streets of Killarney, visiting my old haunts.

At day 18, I can say that I am still unsure about the idea of a fictionalized memoire. I thought that the fictional slant would give me the freedom to just weave a story out of the disparate things that happened during those five years. But really, other than allowing myself some licence to fill in the gaps in my memory or to join separate events together to  make the story run more smoothly, I’ve found I’ve been somewhat of a slave to the truth. I can’t quite break free from it, or see beyond it. I can’t just write my life into a story.

I think next year I will try to write pure fiction.

More and more, I get the sense that this whatever-it-is I am writing is more a long journal entry than a book. Nevertheless, I am determined to keep writing it. I’ve come this far and, as I said, I am enjoying the few hours every day spent roaming the Ireland of my memories.

I’ve given some thought to what I will do with it once December 1 delivers me from this commitment I have made to myself. I’m eager to return to blogging but if I’m not done this story of mine by 50,000 words, or by December 1, I supposed I will continue with what I’m doing until I reach the end.

And then? And then I may print it out, smile proudly at the sheer amount of words I have put to paper, and shelve it for a while. Or I may start reading and see where that takes me. I’ll have to see.

I’m really interested to know how other first time NaNoWriMo participants are doing. Are you also surprised to find that you can write 50,000 words in a month? That you can write every day? Are you also struggling with how meaningful your story is? Did you get involved in the NaNoWriMo community or did you sit home, keep to yourself, and just write?

I had this great idea that I would really get involved. I thought I would go to the local library every Sunday afternoon and participate in the write-in. I’ve just passed the third Sunday and have not made it there once.

I also thought I would participate in forums, at the very least as an excuse to procrastinate. But I haven’t done that either. If I’m at the computer, I’m writing the novel, or looking at place names, Irish maps, researching people’s names, updating my word count. Otherwise, I am not at the computer.

I guess I have not gotten the most out of the experience that I could have. Or maybe I have discovered that I actually like the solitude of writing. Alone.

Like practicing yin yoga, following through, ploddingly, with this exercise is bringing up different aspects of my character and my psyche. It’s showing me things about myself. I find I tend towards the solitude while simultaneously missing the blogging community.

I think I’m like that in the rest of my life too; introverted, happy to sit home alone for days on end, but deep down desirous of social contact.

So here I am, reaching out to say hi to everyone, before I disappear again into my contented solitude.

Thirteen days to go!

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 18: Solitude and a (mostly) steady pace

  1. So glad you are doing ok! I have to say, it’s odd to not look at my reader and see “Silverleaf” pop up there every few days. And interesting about your thoughts on Fiction vs. Reality. I can see how that would get kind of fuzzy when writing something autobiographical, having a hard time shifting from reality. I wonder sometimes if I ever could write fiction…never tried! Anyway, keep on going…and we’ll be here for you when you don’t want to be alone!

    • Thanks! It felt so great to write something different tonight. I miss the short story writing, too, and watching the daily prompts go by, have felt inspiration I’ve had to ignore. But I’ve filed them all and come December, I should have so many ideas I won’t be able to stop! It’s really nice to feel that my absence is noticed 🙂

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