Camp Nanowrimo has just started. I’m a first timer. I’ve never challenged myself like this before, 50,000 in a month. Consistently write 1,666 a day. For some writer this is a piece of cake, for me, it’s sweet like cake but I can never finish it all. I’ve been a 500 to 1000 words a day since I started writing 13 months ago. It’s certainly not prolific but I’ve enjoyed it and my dream of getting paid a decent enough wage, to give up the day job, get a big antique desk and write all day every day has gained sharp momentum since then.
What I wanted to write about here though is something I came across while reading ‘Write.Publish.Repeat’ bu Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt and David Wright (I will certainly write a review when I’ve finished the book, it great so far, and Hugh Howey gave it the thumbs up which is a win-win in my books).
The book’s author’s speak about something called flow. I remember reading about it briefly while going through undergrad psychology but like most undergrad anything I forgot about it with scary immediacy. Now as a novice writer I’ve come across it again but this time it’s piqued my interest. Flow they say is total immersion in the activity at hand. It’s complete concentration in what you’re doing there and then. To fall so deeply into whatever you are doing is to be much more focused, much more attuned with the activity you’re completing and for me it’ll hopefully produce a far better product, for writers, that being a story.
So it brings me back to camp nanowrimo. I thought I’d sign up, flail about, maybe get 15,000 words finished, and let that be that. In two days I’ve gotten 10,000 words down and reviewed twice. This number has amazed me. The amount of work has amazed me. My wife commented on how I had my head in the computer non-stop the last two days, hoping I’d come up for air and regular toilet breaks. I told her I think I had. She also said I was more focused, more passionate about the story I was writing and far more dedicated then I had been on anything else I’d written in a long time. This caused me to think and ask myself why? Why had I suddenly began working harder on something I loved doing. Why wasn’t I like this all the time. Here’s a list of what I am writing at the moment, everyone loves lists:-
I’ve began writing a new story. I felt nanowrimo needed a new story so I pulled out the faux leather notebook and picked one I’ve wanted to sink my teeth into.
The simple fact that nanowrimo has given me targets, it is third party and is actually enjoyable helps.
I’m pretty sure I’m in a state of flow with my writing.
The last point I think is the most important. I’m in a state of flow with my writing. New story + camp nanowrimo = flow. Who knew.
I know using a month long writing challenge is not a sustainable way of pushing my word count into the stratosphere but it’s given me food for thought. In order for me to push my daily word count higher, in order to become a more productive writer I need to find a way to enter a state of flow when I write. This is going to be the challenge, finding that sweet spot where I fall into flow.
If you want more information on flow, wikipedia has a good page detailing flow.
When the month of April is up I’ll let you know how camp nanowrimo went and if I gave myself arthritis in the process (o;