November 1, it was time to write. I sat down that morning to write my 2,000 words. I stared at the blank screen trying to figure out how to begin. What was I thinking? I arranged and rearranged my desk as panic rose in my throat. I thought about starting a game of Bejeweled or checking Facebook again.
Instead, I took several deep breaths. Then I looked again at the project I had created and read through the preliminary list of scenes I planned. Since I wasn’t sure how to start, I decided to just pick a scene to write, any scene. I just needed to start. I picked the one that seemed the easiest.
I continued that way the whole month of November. Each time I finished a scene, I picked a new one to write. Often, writing one scene would make me realize there was another I needed to add to the list. Sometimes, I wrote something that meant something else had to happen in an earlier scene. If that scene was already written, I’d make a note to make the change later.
I made it a point not to revisit scenes I’d already written except when I needed to be sure the story transition was right. I didn’t go back and edit anything in November. I was trying to write 50,000 words in one month, for goodness sake! I saw no sense in erasing or deleting even one word.
The program made it easy to add and move around scenes and also to make notes about changes to be made during the editing process. I kept the scene list open in front of me on the screen. Unlike some people who like to write on a totally blank screen, I liked having my scene list and document notes right in front of me. It gave me a sense of control and, as the scenes were written, I could see I was accomplishing something.
In the beginning, I was keeping a manual list of words per scene. That got to be a hassle when I started adding more detail into scenes which changed the word count. Then I learned the Scrivener Target tool could track my progress both daily and for the project as a whole. At the end of each day, I charted my word count on the NaNoWriMo website. Watching the line on the word count graph line move up kept me going — along with my determination to succeed (or fear of failure!) It was like any journey; it began with a single step.
Thank you for following the journey! I welcome feedback and suggestions.
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