Day one in the Davies (or should that be NaNoWriMo) household, Katie is writing… That was supposed to be said in the Big Brother voice, or at least that’s how it sounded in my head.
My novel has got off to a good start so far. I have managed to bang out 3809 words today and it’s only 7:50pm. This is due largely to the fact that my health is very, very bad today. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, all shall be revealed.
Today is one of those days where I feel like I have lived a week in twelve hours. My health has been up and down all days, some of the time, like now, I feel ok, my legs are aching so I’m stuck in bed, but I am able to write, even though I cannot concentrate on reading or studying. At some points of the day however, I have been desperate to fall asleep because I just felt so sick. I don’t really know how to explain the extreme exhaustion, pain and sickness, except to say that if my mum were near, I would cry like a baby for her to come cuddle me when I feel like that.
I have been alone almost completely all day so to ward off any depression and negative thought cycles, I have just kept my novel on my mind. I haven’t been well enough to write all of the time, but I have been thinking of Ally all day long, meaning that when I can write, I have so much in my mind my fingers can’t type fast enough.
When I woke up this morning, I felt so far away from being able to focus on anything, let alone begin a novel, but I had prepared for this with two age-old writer’s tools:
I have heard many names for this, but essentially I just wrote about something other than what I was working on. Some writers, as I did, write journals to wake up their creative mind. It’s like sport, you can try just running, but you’re more likely to do a lot better if you stretch your muscles and focus your mind on the task ahead.The first thing you write at the beginning of the day is likely to be the worst thing you write that day so it’s a good idea to not put that in your novel.
Background noise, providing it is not too loud can help a writer get into the scene or into their character’s head. I am writing about an angry, hurt, and rejected woman so I flicked through my iPod to find all the music I used to listen to as a teenager when I was feeling that way. This immediately puts me in the right place to think and feel the way Ally does. Certain songs remind us of certain feelings, it’s a good idea to harness this for my writing. On the other hand, if I listen to Ben Howard, I am going to feel calm and happy. I haven’t used it yet, but I also downloaded an the Ambiance app, which has a huge library of different sounds. I am planning to use these for certain scenes. So for example, if my character is taking a country walk, I can create a playlist of various wildlife sounds to help my mind picture what is happening.
One of the things I want to do this month is to use my intense novel writing to try out different writing techniques. Today I used journaling to warm up, perhaps I’ll stick with that for about a week before moving on to something different. I am doing the same with where I write. I was able to get out of the house to go to the library to write for an hour today, which was great because I have never tried writing there before. It went well, I was free from distractions and comfy on the new sofas. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to the library every day for a week but I’ll try going there to write a few times, before moving on to a new venue. Obviously I tried writing in my bed too, but that doesn’t count as an experiment since I always write here (yup I’m there right now). By the end of this month I should have a good idea about my writing habits- where and how I work best.
Have you got any writing techniques or venues you use or have heard of that I could try out?
Love Katie x
P.s. My new blogging buddy Amelia is NaNoWriMo rebel because she is using this month to continue with her memoir about life with cerebral palsy.She is posting the whole thing on her blog day-by-day. I read the first installment today and felt positive I had to share it with you, it is a fantastic first draft. Check it out here.
You can find out more about my novel and keep up to date with my progress on my NaNoWriMo page.