NaNoWriMo: 8. No looking back

One week in and it’s going well. Todays word count finished off part one and I’m about one third of the way through the book. I’ve found today and yesterday much harder than the previous days and I think it is because of the point at which I was in the story.

I struggle with moving on to the next task or section while feeling like the first part isn’t perfect. I didn’t realise how much this was holding me back until recently when I was attending a workshop and the tutor (discovering most of us were struggling with progressing our work) told us to stop looking over what has been written. It might be hard, but keep moving, keep going forward.

It takes a surprising amount of energy to retrain myself to not return to chapter one and re-write it (the whole reason I decided to do this novel in a month was because I had hit the 20,000 – 30,000 words mark and would then re-start). You can’t tell whether it’s working or not if you don’t get far enough into the story to follow through for the pay off. I’m trying to push my self doubt to the side and sprint to end.

As I wrapped up Part One, I realised there are characters I need to introduce earlier on and that there is a whole subplot that actually came out clearer and more self contained than I expected. I desperately wanted to go back and fiddle with the foundations, but I’ve resisted. I promised myself I can rip it apart later, when I’ve got to the end of the whole thing and have a full idea of the shape of the book.

So, first week done. I feel like week one is always the easiest – you’ve got energy, you’re brimming with ideas, and it still feels new. Next week may be a little more challenging, but of course I’m still proud of what I have achieved.


Published by Heddwen Bethan

I have a Masters in English literature and Creative Writing and work as an arts administrator in Birmingham. I spend my free time cooking, talking about nothing in particular, and writing.

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