Novel Writing Winter (NWW) 2013 — Week 4: breathe, relax…
square eyes and insomnia
fresh air required
For the last week, I’ve experienced the worst insomnia in my life. It’s not that I’m actively mulling over my novel-in-progress when I should be sleeping, any more than I’m thinking about paying the bills, or what various members of my family are up to, or how pissed off I am with the Prime Minister. Rather, it’s a background buzz in my subconscious — the brain’s equivalent of white noise. If I could amplify this noise, it would probably contain much to discourage.
- You’re too old for this.
- You messed up at school, so what makes you think you can write the type of literary novel students study at University?
- Why put yourself through this?
- Take it easy — read someone else’s novel, watch tv, chinwag with your friends over coffee.
Four weeks into NWW, my word count has reached 5,000, which, at first glance, might not seem very much. In the past, I would have slammed out about 90,000 words in 3 months, after which I’d have spent between 1-3 years pruning and revising until complete boredom set in, consuming all my original love for the story. Some of this fiddling with my writing was a necessary part of the learning experience, but the rest of it was to do with lack of confidence in my product.
With my current novel, I’ve taken a completely different approach, contemplating and crafting every sentence as I go, which means my novel will take about 10 months to write and 2 months to revise/edit. A novel in a year.
This morning, after returning from a bracing winter walk, I did a read through of my opening 24 pages and discovered not a single word I wanted to change. This is what I call progress. So it’s onward with Novel Writing Winter (NWW) 2013, and no more sleepless nights
Next on the agenda — to email one of my friends, who’s a genius scientist. In the name of research, I need to pick his brain about genetics, environmental pollution, and plagues.
To find out more about Novel Writing Winter (NWW) 2013, visit http://sarahpotterwrites.wordpress.com/novel-writing-winter-nww-2013/