When I’m writing, I’m a crazy person. Not a cutting-off-my-ear crazy person (no Van Gogh-ing for me), but definitely not normal. When I’m wrapped up in a draft, it’s all I think about.
Well, I do think about survivaly things like food and water and the occasional shower, but mostly my MS.
I’m very single-minded about it. Which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.
When I’m writing, the story has pretty much taken over my mind. I start thinking about what I’m working on when I brush my teeth in the morning, during my shower, when I eat…well, you get the idea. It’s great when I’m trying to untangle a particularly tricky plot knot, or puzzling over a character I haven’t quite figured out yet.
It’s a little like when you leave an antivirus program running in the background of your computer. You’re not sitting there, staring at the program as it runs. It quietly (hopefully) does its work while you surf the web or work on something else.
After a while I don’t even notice that I’m thinking about the same story over and over, nonstop. I don’t realize that I keep testing out new plot devices until one pops, bringing it to my attention. Which makes me sound like a machine, but that’s kind of what I become when I’m in writing mode.
Well, I’m a machine. That can’t be a good thing.
And, thinking about my book all the time, I must not be a lot of fun at parties.
But I think the most detrimental part of obsessing over your MS is that you can’t get the distance to view your work critically sometimes.
It’s a problem I find I have once I hit the 6+ month mark. I’ve been thinking about the same characters, the same plots, the same loglines for sooo loooong that I can’t see the forest for the trees anymore. Which is (obviously) not good, and usually when the betas swoop in to rescue you.
But Erica, you may ask, if you need to give your brain some distance from your current project, why don’t you just start a new one?
Oh, well-intentioned disembodied voice, it is not that simple.
Seems simple enough: need a distraction from your obsession with your current project? Start a new project.
The problem with that: I’m still in writing mode. And I have a super obsessive personality in writing mode. So yeah, I could start a new project. But I will become just as obsessed with that, and then when I have to switch gears and go back and revise that first project, my brain will turn to mush.
Which I can guarantee. My brain is mostly mush right now, as evidenced by that last sentence (did it make sense to anyone?).
So what exactly does this have to do with week 2 of Camp NaNo?
Well, my obsession has turned me into a monster. Like, a Jason-killing-the-camp-counselors kind of monster.
I am destroying my NaNo word count. Like, nearly-done-in-week-two destroying.
Which means: cool, I’m done early and get to relax while my Betas have until September to read and get back to me with their notes.
But it also means: CRAP, I’m going to need something else to fill my time until September while my Betas read.
I’ll have to–gulp–learn how to relax.
I’ve become a monster. And I’m nervous to see what will be left of my MS when the smoke clears.
Day 9 Stats: 39,005/50,299