Trying again!

Oh dear. Last time I tried Nanowrimo it didn’t go so well. Just ended up in lots of anxiety. Why on earth would I wanna go through that again?

Cause I like to torture myself obviously, cause here I go again! This time with a little headstart as I had a fit of inspiration about 1,5 week ago and it has stayed ever since! Since the start of Nanowrimo I have produced about 7500 words. Feels good this time, feels like I might be able to keep up the steam for the full month. Cause it feels like this is a story that should be written fast. The feel of it is quite frantic and I want the language to be very easy, so I’ll just type until my keyboards starts glowing!

This year it’s even more of a challenge tho, since I also have a little one to take care of. Strangely enough, this has made me more productive. I barely have any time, but that means I cannot waste the little time I do have. Working under the pressure that the baby can wake up any minute is way better than any deadline! Let’s see if it can take me all the way to the finish line this time 🙂

Blood and death

I have been reading a lot lately. I’m thinking of it as another form to relax and unwind. And what better way to do that than with a bit of violence and blood?I have found a real gem of a book, in the most unexpected place. At work, we decided that everyone who wanted could bring a few books they thought others should read and place all of them on a table. We ended up with quite a heap of books, some I’ve read before and enjoyed, some that are completely new to me (and tbh, some I would never even think about reading! That’s where I found this book. It has the very straight forward title “Blood and death” (my translation, don’t think the book itself has been translated – which is a shame!) It has a few similarities to Hunger Games (tho it was written before those books). The story is that a TV company decides to try out a new form of reality show, so they place a bunch of serial killers on a deserted tropical island with the hopes they will kill each other. Last one standing will recieve a complete pardon. It all sounds a little grotesque doesn’t it? At least that’s what I thought when I started reading it (I couldn’t refuse – just look at the title!) but to my surprise it doesn’t involve that much violence. It’s more a very twisted and actually funny story about how the serial killers start bonding with each other. Twisted I say, as the characters are a bit out of the ordinary. Or what do you say about Tom Cruises evil doppelganger, the siemese tripples or the former Ku klux Klan member who after recieving a blow to the head now only speaks swahili? It’s absolute madness but what’s also what I like!

I’ve been told so many times what “good” literature is. I’ve studied literary history after all! It was quite frowned upon that my favourite writer is Stephen King. There you should like writers like Joyce and Baudelaire. And some of them are really good. To this day, Becketts “Waiting for Godot” is one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever read. But I don’t enjoy all of them. What I fancy, is a good story, and sadly, not all of those old geezers can do produce that for me. Just such a shame that some people feel the need to look down on others because of what they like to read. Isn’t it good just that people do read?

Heard on the news today that Brazilian prisoners now can shorten their imprisonment by reading books. Interesting approach I’d say!

Admitting defeat… well, almost

I have to face the facts. I have not done very well during this writing challenge. And while some of it definately can be put down to writers block (for the longest time I just couldn’t understand where the characters wanted the story to go!) but most of it is because of something else. Something I realized when I had my first needle stuck into the top of my head. No, it wasn’t just an act self-torture to get the inspiration flowing (I wonder if that might work tho? Hmmm). It was actually my first acupuncture session. Before the acupuncturist started sticking needles in me, we had a long talk to figure out my problems. Why is it, that I haven’t been able to sleep well for over 5 years? She asked me to tell her about my life, my days, the things I do. When I had finished she just looked at me for a while, in silence. Then she said it was very clear that I was stressed pretty much out of my mind, with constant things going on. Maybe it took an outsider to say it but the realization hit me very hard. I have come to a point in my life where the abnormally high levels of stress are the norm. I have come to a point where I find it almost impossible to “do nothing”. And that’s something I needed to start working on, directly. That’s the main reason my writing has been suffering. Writing gives me the biggest joy, but it’s also one of those things to add to the list of all the things I need to do in the evening, after a long day of very stressful work. I need to work on finding a better balance, and learn to master the art of doing nothing.

So that’s basically what I’ve been doing lately. And yesterday everything came together. I decided to go back to my text and just look at it casually, and everything fell into place! I suddenly understood exactly what my characters had been trying to tell me. And the story just flowed out of me. I think the stress was a reason I was blocked. It’s so easy to end up there, especially when all the things you do are things you love. It’s hard to cut back on that. But it is healthy in the long run.

So now I’ve started again. I doubt I’ll be able to finish the story before the end of the month but it doesn’t really sadden me. I have found something much more valuable – a tool for creativity and a way to start unwinding better. And that is worth so much more! Today when I came home, after training and doing the weekly shopping, I felt such desire to write. Even as I’m writing this I’m itching to get back to my story. I’d better obey that lust. I have learned to listen more to my body more – it’s usually right! 🙂

Not doing so great

I haven’t written anything at all these last few days. Mainly because of work. I knew it would be a challenge to do this project in June as we have out big national annual meeting. Which means around the clock work for me. Just come out of the mists now but still feel completely drained. Too much work really is bad for the creativity. In an ideal world I’d only work 70-80% and get more time for my writing. But who can afford that?

Even today when I have a day off I find it hard to get started. My brain is still too mushy. Not to mention I still have a masters thesis to go over and complete. Think I may be trying to do too many things at the same time. I always do this and it is rather dangerous. It can mean ending up not doing anything properly.

Writing linear

Last year I wrote my master’s thesis in literary studies and this thesis made me realise something. I have a very hard time writing linear stories. A story that starts here, follows a straight line and then finishes. I prefer writing in fragments. My thesis was centered around this – non linear storytelling – and how this has been used throughout history. In our modern times, we are rather used to reading non linear. Especially on Internet we can quite easily follow a hyperlink that takes us someplace else before we go back to the original text.

In my current story I’ve managed to write quite linear but it is quite hard to go back to the story. My preferred way to write is to just jump straight into the story somewhere and this makes editing quite chaotic. Also i tend to change things without realising it will have consequences to the text I’ve already written. I think I need to be more disciplined, to make it easier for myself. But is it even possible to change the way you write?

In todays writing I’ve been focusing on the end, even tho the story’s not even done yet. Beginning and end are often the easiest bits for me to write. It’s that pesky part in the middle that’s giving me a headache!

The challenge of getting started

3 days into June and it’s really about time to get started on my project! Last summer I started working on a novel for children and I’ve been writing on it on and off. I made an very unofficial promise to myself to get it finished this summer and taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo was just the push I needed. Now I only need to get started properly.

That’s always been a problem for me. I tend to procrastinate (who doesn’t huh?) My problem is that my creativity is best when I’m out in nature, often when I’m walking the dogs. Suddenly all sorts of ideas tend to jump me and I always think I’ll remember them when I get home… which I never do. I need to find a way to recreate that feeling at home, that my body and mind are occupied with something else that lets the creative process run freely.

When it comes to writing though, I don’t think there’s such a thing as to wait for creativity to strike. You need to create routines and write even if you don’t feel inspired to. That’s the most important lesson I’ve learned. It’s not always fun or easy to get started but the more you write and the stronger routines you have for it, the easier it will be. That’s how it is for me anyway. Which does remind me, I should stop progrestinating, finish writing this post and get to work! 🙂

The thing I said I would never do

Right, it took you long enough but you eventually cracked me. The thing I said I’d never do (start a blog) has happened. It’s too late. It’s done now. I might as well make the most of it.

Welcome I say, mostly to myself actually. Not to sound selfish or anything (aren’t all blogs essentially selfish tho?) but the mail reason I finally caved and started this blog isn’t because of you, dear reader, it’s because of me.

You see, I was invited to join http://www.campnanowrimo.org/sign_in that starts now in June. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to finally get around to finishing this novel I’ve been working on for almost a year. The friend who invited me asked if I had a blog or someplace to share my progress. I realized I didn’t. I told myself the usual excuses I always tell myself; not enough time, will feel stressed that I have yet another place I have to update. But when I started thinking about it, I realized what a help this could be. And above all, imagine how fun it would be to go back and read once I have my book published! (aim for the stars, right?)  Here I can follow the process and see how it all started and developed. It will serve as a memory, which is quite swell cause lately mine seem to have started to fail me.

I don’t know if this blog will live up to my expectations but I am willing to give it a try. Maybe you will too?