Train Rides and Smooth Sailing (nano progress report)

train laptop

Portland bound aka a perfect time to write.

What makes for a perfect day of writing? A train ride. Seriously. Imagine an early morning on the train. Most of the other passengers are sleeping. The car’s not even full, and you have a seat to yourself. That seat is by a window. Your laptop is fully charged, you’ve got a fantastic playlist to listen to, and you’re going from Seattle to Portland so anytime you look out your window you’ve got either a view of mountains, bodies of water, hills, giant evergreens, farmland, and the rest of the unrivaled beauty that is the Pacific Northwest to inspire you. Such was the setting of the beginning of my NanoWrimo day two. And I’m lucky it was, otherwise I don’t think I would be where I am now with this story.

I was going to Portland because I had to be there for a few days to help the family I nanny-ed for settle into their new house, which meant I didn’t get to see much of Portland since I was doing full days of work. I originally thought this meant it was going to set me back for Nano, but oddly enough the days I was busiest and most tired were the days I was able to get most of the writing done.

So Nano has been going well so far, which seems odd for me to say, considering how badly it usually goes. Naturally, I am suspicious of this… but I’ve also managed to think of four reasons this could be happening.

First, I’ve actually managed to have luck in sectioning off times for myself to write rather than just writing when I feel like it. When I was in Portland, I’d actually wake up early before I had to start work (which is to say, around 5 am since I needed to be up at 7) and this worked marvelously. I am not a morning person in the least, but I’ve come to think I may be a morning writer, since  the words just flow so easily when I’m half comatose. Since I’ve been making a point of scheduling time around my jobs to write on the bus and in coffee shops (better than being at home, so I don’t just ya know…sleep instead), it makes the meeting the daily goals seem much more attainable.

Second, I’ve been reconnecting with my nano buddies. This is pretty self-explanatory. What better way to motivate yourself than to have several people to sprint and war with? Nothing feels better than when I see my word count zoom past all of theirs. Except for maybe bragging about it to them later. 😉

Third, having an outline has helped tremendously, even though it’s not completely finished. I’ve always known I’m not a pantser, nor am I an insanely detailed planner. I do like to have an idea of what I’m going to write when I begin though, and I’ve been working hard on finding a middle ground between the two, which I think I’ve finally done. I can see myself adding more to the outline once I get to the editing stages and need to connect things or smooth them out, but for now the one basic outline I made (aptly titled, “what the hell happens in this story”) seems to be working well… even if it does only detail the first quarter of it the story.

Finally, and most importantly, I’m absolutely loving the story I’m writing. It’s this lighthearted, goofy, fantasy adventure story with a pretty ridiculous premise and humor that, very likely I’m the only one who thinks is funny. I don’t know if anyone else would like this besides me. But I don’t care. I absolutely love it. I’ve been smiling a lot while writing out the scenes. Inner editor hasn’t had much of a chance to come out and tell me that I’m doing it wrong because at this point, I don’t think I am. I’m starting to think that the point of the first draft of this story is that it please me, and that’s what’s happening with this. It’s not the hardest or most complex of the stories I’ve ever attempted, so maybe that has something to do with the joy, but really? I don’t think that matters at this point. Point is, despite everything, I want to write again. For me, that’s gold.

So all nano-ers out there, please share the same! What’s been working or not working for you so far? And what are your word counts thus far? (I promise I don’t want to know just so I can gloat ;-))

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2 thoughts on “Train Rides and Smooth Sailing (nano progress report)

  1. audreyjoygreathouse says:

    Hey, neat! It’s funny how the busier we are, sometimes the more time we budget for NaNo. When life is insane, I take every minute I can get to write. If I know I have plenty of time…well, why not sleep instead, haha? I’ve do nanny work too, not quite as much since I moved to California, but it’s a fun field to be in. Kids rock, and they say the darndest (most inspirational) things 🙂

    • chelree says:

      Oh yeah, that is too true… Which is why I’m both nervous and excited for thanksgiving. I’ll have all the free time I need to write… But I do love my sleep too. Let’s hope this year the writing will win out! It’s nice to connect with a fellow nanny! And that is too true. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t write down a lot of what the kids say and do, just in case I need it for some story later on ;-).

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