Well, I tried to make July 2012 in Teacher’s Novel Writing Month, hoping that using this month off could help me boost my creativity and give me a jump forward.
How did it turn out?
Well, with a goal of around 50,000 words for July I managed to pull of a whopping 6000 or so. Yay me! 😛
As it turned out, July was a month filled with personal issues and obstacles that basically killed my writing time. It’s odd, really, sometimes I feel I’m busier and more occupied in the Summer when I’m not at the college than I am when the college is in full swing and I’m teaching and marking!
So yeah, TeaNoWriMo ended up being a bit of a bust.
But, was it a complete loss?
First, while I wasn’t up to writing a lot at first, I did get some editing done. I’m almost done my first editing pass on the Twin Stars novel, with just the very last section to go before I can get into the second pass. (Which will be the point where I start to do serious line editing and polishing.)
Second, I did get some writing done on a project which has been stalled for almost three years, and in fact I think I finally got the darn thing back on track again. I won’t mention the project name because I don’t want to jinx it, but in the last two weeks or so I’ve added another 12,000 words to it and hope to add a heck of a lot more during the month of August.
Two things have added to my productivity that I thought I’d mention.
One, which I got from the Dead Robots’ Society podcast, is that I pulled out an ancient laptop I had that doesn’t connect to the internet, stuck it in the basement, put Scrivener on it, and made it into my primary writing machine. The basement is cool, which is important because our brains work best at 22-25 degrees celsius (72-77 F), and quiet, so I don’t have any distractions. Also, since it can’t connect to the Net (most important of all!) it forces me to stay on task and keeps me from checking my mail or FB. I’ve been amazed how much this has helped my writing and kept me in the zone.
Two, I’ve been making use of one of the Pixar Writer’s Tricks whenever I get stuck- I have a blank document running in the background, and when I get really stuck, I just start writing down what won’t happen next. It’s amazing how quickly those things on the list start to become what might happen next and get things moving again. Sometimes I also alternate writing what won’t happen next with what could happen next, and do a couple lines of that to see what ideas can fall out of the tree. It doesn’t matter if the “won’ts” are silly or off topic, as long as they’re getting written down and keeping you writing and thinking. So far it’s worked almost every time I’ve gotten stuck, even if I don’t always use what got written down.
So, in August if I’m not participating much online or blogging much, please forgive me. I’m trying to get done as much as I can before September, and literally not online most days except to check my messages using my iPhone.