30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 25: Failed at Outside, but Won at Writing

LS-NaNoWriMoProgress-11.25.14Where I Wrote: Not the Continental Center. Not under the Brooklyn Bridge. Not at either of my South Street Seaport spots. Although not for want of seriously trying… I wrote on the train for the very first time in my life. And then… at home.

How I Feel About What I Wrote: Fucking ecstatic.

The Mood I Brought to the Table: Very tired. But very ready to get down to business.

The Experience: Full disclosure: I failed at the 30 Days part of today.

But today was still a truly amazing success for me. The additional encounter is finished. Tomorrow, I edit the rest, make a few small adjustments, and then jump into the endgame. I feel amazing.

And all this for a day that started with pretty heavy failure. I don’t know how that works, but I’m glad it does.

I got out at a decent time. I chose a writing spot that was no frills, knowing that I needed as few complications as possible; I had a ton on my plate today when it came to writing. Deep down, I was worried that it would be a bit too much and that the pieces wouldn’t fall into place. In prep, I got a bag of chips at Chipotle (because my love for their burritos is equal only to my total inability to eat them anymore [I think I’d just die the same way I’d just die of flavor if I ever eat another Cadbury Creme Egg]). From there, I grabbed coffee.

Coffee that was still untouched when I stood outside of the Continental Center and saw that only its lobby was intact.

Mental note: make sure your spots are still there and opened before you go to them.

But that was fine. I could just go sit under the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s not that cold outside.

Yes, it is, I discovered. It is that cold.

For the short while I was under the bridge, I was determined. I was not going to go home. I had too much to write. If this did not work out, I’d sit at Pier 15 again. Or in the Canon’s Walk again. Two other spots that were also outdoors.

And maybe that’s what did it–maybe it was the idea of hopping to different, uncomfortably cold writing spots that broke me.

… Why the hell am I forcing myself to do this outside?

Don’t get me wrong–I still like the challenge and I’m still going out tomorrow. A post will follow that. I am not dropping 30 Days when I’m already 25 days in.

But today, with my original spot a bust; with only repeat, outdoor spots nearby; and with a ton of work to put in, staying outside just felt insanely silly. That tiny bit of writing I did in the cold under the bridge was fun enough to make me smile. I really wanted to write more and I was just hampering that desire with another distracting, currently bullshit challenge. If the Continental Center had been opened, I’d have a picture for this post–I’d have rocked it there. But it wasn’t. Not… entirely my fault.

So instead, I hopped on the train, struggled in just… the most fun ways with my tablet as I continued writing on it, and then got back to my apartment and took to the one room again.

Where I totally did delete a small bit of yesterday’s work and replaced that section of the fight with actions that felt far more natural. Actions that finally pushed it from a stiff, formal encounter to a realistic event that my characters were genuinely experiencing. I don’t know the best way to explain this, but if you’re a writer, you know what I mean; there’s the boring, basic way a scene can go–the version where everyone’s standing in place and talking to each other without moving. And then there’s the dynamic version, in which your characters aren’t just disembodied voices talking at each other but people. This change made the entire scene so fun to write that I just didn’t stop.

Not until my addition was finished. All of it–even the post-encounter scene that tied the addition firmly to the rest of the novel.

I know that I kind of failed today. I’m aware that this post is the worst when it comes to showing off a nice writing spot.

I also totally don’t give a shit.

Today was amazing. It was so stupidly validating that all other failures–even the ones possibly waiting for me tomorrow–mean absolutely nothing.

Writing’s so good. So goddamn good.

Published by

Louis Santiago

I'm a fantasy writer based in New York. One of my short stories, "Aixa the Hexcaster," was published at Mirror Dance Fantasy. You can read it here: http://www.mirrordancefantasy.com/2016/09/aixa-hexcaster.html.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s