Comforting Words?

From the survival guide on the 3-Day Novel contest website:

For most, the first day is the toughest. Veterans are almost unanimous in their belief that if one even gets out of the starting gate on the first day they’re doing well. There may be a lot of “window staring,” pacing, wishing to be anywhere else. It may be best to just keep in mind no one knows anything the first day.

I remember Day One being tough last year, but this year it seems much harder. The day’s almost over and I’m hovering around 5,000 words. I take a moment to notice that, on any normal day, I would be delighted at having clocked 5,000 words. For the 3-Day Novel, that’s not nearly enough.

I spent a lot of time this morning refining my outline, because I felt I needed to get more of a handle on the plot before I could plunge in. The writing proper has gone hideously slowly (considering the circumstances) ever since I began it. To make matters worse, a Facebook buddy of mine who’s also doing the contest keeps breezily posting stuff like “10,000 words in. Having a dinner break.” I just about had a heart attack this morning when I sat down to get started at 8 a.m. and saw he was already something like 4,200 words in. Note to self: stay off Facebook. It’s not a race. (And I am glad the contest is going smoothly for him this year).

What has caught me totally off guard today: I have this powerful and constant urge to have a nap. I’ve had something like three naps today. That’s extremely strange for me–when I’m sick, my husband has to engage in some serious cajoling to get me to lie down even when I can barely see straight.

I’m hoping the contest’s comforting words are correct, and that I hit more of a stride tomorrow. The amazing thing about writing is that experience often seems to help only in the sense that it tells me I can get through whatever thing I’m taking on. The actual shape of the experience always seems to be different. Every novel is new, every project is new. No 3 days writing can ever go the same way.

Here’s hoping for at least a couple thousand more words before bed–and 6,000 or so would be nice 😀


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