Sometimes when your normal rhythms falter, you look around for new ones, and you find something works in a way you weren't expecting.
I woke up this morning and was not feeling it. Went to bed late. Woke up late. Drank green smoothie. Drove kids to school. Didn't exercise. Sat on couch with computer instead. Decided to try out Stephen King's writing schedule and ended up writing from eight to ten, ate a snack, wrote some more. Took a nap, wrote some more. I don't think nap was part of Stephen King's schedule. Felt good about the writing. Felt kind of gross about everything else.
I've been trying to find a new writerly rhythm. What I liked about Stephen King's: I got to use that just-awake time when my subconscious is close to the surface and my inner editor is far away. I also wasn't tired from exercise.
What I didn't like: I wasn't energized from exercise when I wrote. And the dog was mad at me.
I've tried working in my bed, at my upstairs desk, at my downstairs desk, on the couch, at the kitchen table, at the library, at the bookstore. At 2:00 am. At 10:00 am. First thing in the morning until late into the night, only stopping for food and bathroom breaks.
I heard Marilynne Robinson read from her beautiful Gilead and then answer questions last Friday at BYU. I love her writing, so I was interested when someone asked her about her revision process and she said she doesn't revise. She has to get each word right before she can move on to the next.
I need to revise. I am not a genius like Marilynne Robinson. She really is. I have a typewriter, but I cannot compose on it the way Gary does because I make too many mistakes and it would drive me crazy. Also, I don't like glue. And I can't help revising as I go. I do like to give myself permission to write a crappy first draft. But maybe I will try slowing down this week. Giving myself permission to search for the perfect word before moving on if I feel like it.
So I will not be churning out an entire novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month) in November. What I will be doing in November is working on the first draft of my novel, slowly, in whatever rhythm I find works. I just have to figure out the best way to feel the music of words, one day at a time.