Saturday, November 14, 2015

Drama! Drama! Everywhere But On My Novel's Page

WhizFolder Delux NaNoWriMo 2015 File
The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

ROW80 Check-In

It seems like every year around the time NaNo starts some kind of drama in my personal life or someone who's part of my daily life heats up to a boil and there doesn't seem to be room on the stovetop in my brain for my novel as well.  This time the drama is mine and had my thoughts in a froth.  My fingers were flying to keep up with them--in journaling, email and texting. After two or three days of this I decided to do a wordcount on the words generated around this personal drama and found I was having no problem at all making daily quota...and more.

If only it were in my NaNoWriMo file.  And that's when I decided to abandon my planned novel and transfer all these words already generated into the file and continue to transcribe the events as they unfold, muse on them, add backstory, try to access other POV and give myself free reign to novelize an see where it might go.  I'm sure it will be too autobiographical to publish but it will still be a good exercise.  It will give me the space to tell myself a story that might help me make sense of what feels like chaos at the moment.

Meanwhile I didn't move the other story out of the file.  If the personal drama returns to a simmer and allows the Funny Bunny story to share the stovetop again I'll return to it.  Who knows I might be able to weave the two together in some way.  That's one of the things I'm so good at--bringing characters from one story on stage in another in ways in which their stories enhance each other.  That's how I ended up with one storyworld that's generated over 100 major characters and at least 16 novel lenth WIP and that many twice over in shorter WIP.

Having made that decision and then watched the words swarm like African ants over screen after screen I'm even starting to feel a true pleasure in the writing again.  Something major broke loose.

I'm still a bit hit and miss on my ROW80 goals:

  • Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily -- hmm. Depends on whether I can count the time spent obsession on the personal drama...
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -Again sadly under par.  A couple days each week.  My reading has become consumed by the autism spectrum theme since my diagnosis in September.
  • 7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable -- Fail!  This devolved from adequate before November 4.  I slept little in the first and second week of November.  Was awake from 9am Tuesday Nov 3 until at least midnight Wednesday.  Slept about 9 hours and was awake until the wee hours of Saturday.  Got back on schedule through Monday morning and then was awake until Tuesday night.  Slept about twelve hours, waking around 9am on the 11th and then did not sleep again until 4:30 this morning Saturday, the 14th and am still awkae in the wee hours of Sunday morning as I write this.
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I know it is crucial to health.  Both physical and mental.  And most especially creativity.  Yet I struggle to make it happen.  It is one of my Asperger traits to hate change and that includes switching from one activity to another.  I spend way too many of my waking hours sitting in my desk chair either at the computer or the craft table.  Switching between those is a matter of scooting a foot and swiveling about 40 degrees.  Swiveling another 45, standing up and taking two steps puts me on the mini-tramp.  Yet I've not been on it since the crisis began on the 3rd.  It probably would have been as much help as the all the words generated around it.  It could have helped me think about things.
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily  -- 2nd Biggest goal success so far this round.  Way more than minimum.
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily Average -- none since NaNo began.  this was a solid habit before my Asperger diagnosis but the autism spectrum has taken over my reading list.  There is one novel in the mix with several memoirs and a few other NF featuring info, advice, and speculation.
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- another thing I've a strong resistance to.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important -- Biggest success this round!  Possibly even overdone it.  Since like everything else, once I get started it is hard to stop.
  • Engage with the Blow Me a Candy Kiss structural rewrite file 30 min Daily*  --  except for November when I'll be working on the companion story from husband Greg's POV called To Embrace a Funny Bunny.  These two likely belong to the same novel but I'll be pretending they don't for the duration of NaNo. -- On hold as of the middle of the first week of November.  See above. 

  • All of this in service to the overarching goal for 2015: Regain the joy in writing that I lost sometime last year.  The Joy/joy meter hovers around 6 out of 10 this week.  Joy in the writing maybe an 8 which is a sharp increase.  Not only am I feeling more joy I'm feeling calmer and more sorted out.  Maybe that's the same thing.

  • 1 tell me a story:

    Shan Jeniah Burton 11/20/2015 4:27 PM  

    Hooray for adapting! Maybe it's been harder to make that shift to meditation or movement because you made such an adjustment in the approach you're taking to your NaNo and personal drama, and that's all you can handle of transitions for now.

    I have a nephew with Asperger's, and I suspect that a sibling and a parent also have similar neurological functioning.

    I think there's a lot of good in taking a break from your craft reading to understand the diagnosis, which might be a path to far deeper self-awareness that might feed all the areas of your life.

    I'm glad you're feeling joy in your writing, and your life again, and hope that your personal drama has eased.

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