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Writing life

I'm posting here more than I expected on account of the new approach I'm taking to the novel writing process this year. I've done it and won it (written 50,000 words in a month) for the past two years, but both those were kind of a crazy rush. 2004 was the first year I attempted NaNaWriMo, and I wasn't even sure if I could do it at all. That year was all about sleep-dep and intensive focus on the writing. As it turned out, I finished really quickly so I probably didn't need to do that after all.

Last year I wasn't even sure if I would end up doing the novel and then wrote the thing even faster than the first year. This time around, I'm trying to take it easy. My challenge for 2006 is to write the novel and maintain a normal life at the same time. 50,000 words is still a goal, but it's not my main priority.

So far, this plan is working out just fine--I'm on track with over 2,000 words per day--and I dig it. Frequent breaks make the writing go easier and I get inspired by doing real things as a real life person. Under my new plan, I've had time this month to visit old friends, attend a party in Minneapolis, and meet new neighbors down our block. Weirdly, I actually feel more active, outgoing and energetic than I do in a normal month. If this year goes well, maybe my challenge for next year will be to write a draft that's actually good!

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