Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Last night I passed the halfway mark in my quest to write 50,000 words in one month. To be exact, I am 125 words over.

I won't say that I'll get a novel written in one month because I expect this story to be longer than those 50 thou. And at the rate I'm going, I'll be bleeding over into December to get this done. But I do expect it to happen in 30 actual writing days or less. And that alone will make me feel like a winner! Even if it doesn't show up in the word count on my NaNoWriMo page on December 1.

I've worried that I don't have enough facts to inform my story. There are resources on my shelf that I haven't had time to read. I'm trying to line up a particular expert whose memoir will provide setting details (and more) for my story. Then there is the whole subject of mental illness which I can't research in one month because a body can only explore it in bits and pieces without slipping into a deep depression in the process.

Trying to cram a mental hospital story into one month of writing is insanity itself. However, I don't regret it because NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is providing much needed motivation not to get sidetracked from a story that I care deeply about.

Today I am more passionate than ever. I thought I had the whole day to write. Little miracles still happen!

Actually, it didn't happen. Someone stopped in. We talked for a few hours. I did not get to write.

However, as a result of this unexpected visit, I am more passionate than ever about my story. The truth is - I can research history, interview experts, and study up on my subject but just those things would not be enough. Passion is the secret ingredient that shapes the story and holds it together.

So although I did not get to put words on the page and suspect that this blog post and other distractions will hinder my writing even more; I feel I have been given a gift.

No, my book will not reveal the conversation I had in my living room this morning. But the heart of my novel will be more clearly defined because, instead of writing, I listened. So much of research is really about that - listening.

Even when I have other plans


  1. loved this post and what you said about passion. Now i'm off that page, but I might have to quote you. Great stuff here. Also enjoyed the blog about your family and the picture of the quilt (?). Have been playing with my flick camera and working on the library proposal. And spending time with family, which overall, went pretty well.
    34,000 words. I'm impressed joyce!

  2. Thanks, Carol. I fell asleeping writing last night. Repeatedly. But I was determined. I'm dertermined tonight too. I just don't have any idea what I am going to write about!

    I got permission to get the memoirs I need but I won't have them for a week or so. Part of me just wants to quit writing and wait! But I have this commitment....