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TOPIC: Wandering Author's NaNo Thread: Migraine Edition

Wandering Author's NaNo Thread: Migraine Edition 5 years 8 months ago #2949

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This year has been "interesting", in the ancient Chinese sense.

Although the power outage following Sandy was not as long as I'd feared, Sandy had several aftereffects that almost ruined my NaNo. First, with all the worry over Sandy, and the time spent sitting in the dark and cold, even the "hurry up and work out an idea during the last week of October" strategy I've gotten away with before was stretched far beyond its limits. Second, between dehydration (I loathe drinks that are neither hot nor cold), cold, tension, and who knows what else, I wound up with a pinched nerve in my neck and the longest lasting migraine I've ever experienced. (Two-three weeks altogether... :( )

So, I started with the barest sliver of an idea, and could scarcely think. I actually did the unthinkable - I went back to completely rewrite the first section I'd written. That lost me more time, and I still wasn't doing great. This is the sloppiest, weakest story I've ever tried to keep alive for NaNo. (Under any other circumstances, I'd set it aside, then go back later and salvage anything worth taking before getting rid of the rest.) And trying to keep a story like that going fast enough to win NaNo, while being ground down by a migraine, is not that easy. (I didn't think it would be.) I haven't even gotten around to putting in the information on my novel over on the NaNo site yet, although I did make sure I was signed up.

However, as of last night, I was up to 44,246 words, and I've written over a thousand more today. So I've actually managed to catch up. And I've learned some very interesting things. First, I can keep writing, even if not well, even during the worst of a migraine. I'll never let anyone else see what comes out of my head at such times until I've had a chance to fix it ;) but at least I know I can do something, however limited. Second, although this book is going to take more fixing than any other story I've ever tried to resuscitate, a few interesting things are emerging here and there as I just run with it. Yes, I've had this happen before in NaNo, obviously - but not with so little to begin with. It's interesting and fun to see what I can do under these circumstances.

Finally, I have really struggled this year, even if it all started to pull together a bit the past few days. Some of you know that I've been writing a lot more this year, trying to really increase my output and my ability to keep writing. I think if I hadn't been doing that already, I would have crashed and burned during the first week. It was actually looking - even with that effort behind me - as though it might be another year to match 2007 (the year I found a friend dead on his kitchen floor on 02 September - a friend who wrote, who had recently confided "all the ideas have gone away", and who must have decided everything he'd written before that was crap, since I never did find a single word in his apartment - and I did look - all of which crippled my own ability to write for a while). The biggest lesson, then, being: the more you work at writing, every day, and being able to write as much as possible, no matter what, the more you'll gain. It is true I was totally unable to do anything I'd want anyone else to see for a few weeks - but at least I was writing, and getting words down that I could turn into something better later. That was a heck of a lot more than I would have been able to do last year if it had been this tough. Who knows? As long as I keep at it, maybe in a few years I'll be able to write something passable even in the midst of a migraine? (Actually, I can do that already - as long as the migraine creeps up on me while I'm writing. As long as I keep my focus, I'm golden, even though there are times I've gotten up from my chair and been unable to walk without stumbling because my head hurt so bad. But starting to write in the middle of a migraine, getting those words flowing and getting into the focus to begin with - that's something on a completely different level. Trust me. I've done both now.)
Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkien
In the country of the blind, the one eyed man... would be diagnosed with a psychological disorder. :D
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Wandering Author's NaNo Thread: Migraine Edition Wandering Author 5 years 8 months ago
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