Today I find myself nearly smack in the middle of National Novel Writing Month. If you’re a writer, I hope you’re with me.
This, my third effort, started shakily. With only a title thought up on a whim, one character that has starred in numerous unpublished short stories, and the vaguest of plot concepts, I fell prey to my biggest failing – editing instead of writing. The word count floundered, the tale going nowhere as I painstakingly sought the perfect verb for a single sentence instead of pouring forth the paragraphs required to generate fifty thousand words for the month.
Then yesterday happened. Dreams from the night before woke me with vivid if nonsensical images. I wrote what I remembered in my morning pages (like a journal, it’s an exercise recommended by Julia Cameron’s “Artist’s Way” creativity workshop), whether to purge them from mind or record them for posterity, I do not know.
Still getting an early start after that, I sat at the keyboard with no clue how to continue. The people on the page meandered through some dialogue when the notion of a dream sequence occurred to me. I’m sure you know where this is going, but I’ll say it anyway. Why not use the new material my sleeping mind generated? I proceeded with my largest daily word count ever.
The whole sequence might be throw-away material; I don’t know yet. But knowing I’ve produced something that has never before existed has left me invigorated to keep going. And as soon as I post this, I’m going to get back into that document and strive forth.
I’ll say again, I hope you’re with me.