NaNoWriMo Isn’t Going Well – I Need My Easy Focus
It is the 23rd of November and I am hardly past the halfway mark of my 50,000 word goal. I am now in need of more than 3,500 words a day to complete NaNoWriMo by the end of November. And given some changes I have made in the story while writing it, I will need to write at least 50,000 words to have a complete first draft of the story. So, whether my goal is to finish NaNoWriMo or to finish my first draft, I am behind, a long way behind. On a goal I really care about.
My instinct when I get behind is to tighten my focus and drive hard toward my goal, pushing on at all costs. And, since I have an outline for this story, it is easy to tell myself that I must write each section of the outline as I foresaw it a month ago.
With writing, this approach doesn’t work. If I try to force my way into a story, I struggle for every word. The process ceases to be pleasant and the product is forced.
This is a first draft, a time to get ideas on to paper, to discover richness in the world of the story, and to let things blossom. The outline is a jumping off spot, a map to get back on track if I get lost, a guide.
In order to progress, I must let go of my harsh focus. I must allow myself to be free of the goal while writing. I must find a way to write with abandon despite the pressure.
I turn to InterPlay, my box of tricks for creating more ease in my life. One of the practices of InterPlay is Easy Focus; this is what I must cultivate now. Physically, easy focus involves shifting from looking forward at a focused point to using my peripheral vision. Mentally, using easy focus invites relaxation and openness, a spirit of play rather than the intensity of work.
Before I sit down with my writing, I must release the need to drive forward and invite a spirit of play. Playfulness while writing enables me to spill words on the page. And so, without further ado, I leave my web browser and turn to my manuscript to play with a big story. Whee!