Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for March 2012

How Writing is Like Knitting

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Last week I started the incredibly daunting task of editing my NaNoWriMo novel. It doesn’t have a title yet. In fact, it probably won’t until I’m forced to give it one. I’m not good at titles. I started it in November, for NaNoWriMo, of course, and finished the first draft on January 28th. I told myself I’d give myself a little break before starting the editing, and boy did I ever. I’m not going to beat myself up about that, though, because I have stayed true to my goal of writing every day, in some form. I worked on some other projects.

The longer I waited to edit the novel, though, the scarier it got. I thought about all the work left to do and all of the changes I already know I need to make. I thought about how this rough draft is really just a skeleton of what I envision the book eventually being. I thought about how I changed a big part of the premise in the end, so that I have to rewrite things in the beginning so it all makes sense. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m trying not to let it get to me. I need to finish this thing. So I sat down and started applying post-its to my binder.

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That is a picture of the front section of the binder. On the left are notes to myself about things I need to address in the novel as a whole, and on the right are the notes about that section in particular. The picture was taken in the middle of a 2 hour chunk of work time, and those sections have been filled with notes since. Each one of those notes represents a lot of work, and it’s difficult to know where to start.

To quell my anxiety towards the hugeness of my task, I have reminded myself that writing a novel is like knitting in some ways. If I am knitting a pair of socks, I don’t expect to finish the pair, or even one sock, in an hour or two. In fact, if I only get a couple of inches knitted in an hour, that is to be expected. The socks get finished because of all of the hours, and all of the inches, that get added up until the sock gets finished. The fact that I sit down and knit for a little while, every day, is what gets me socks to wear. In the same way, I must sit down and write, every day, and it will eventually all add up to a finished novel.

It will, however, probably take a lot longer than a pair of socks. So maybe I should have compared it to a sweater, or a shawl. Here is a picture of the socks I started in mid-February. They were my London knitting.

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Written by nikkinbird

March 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Back from London, into Winter

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Note: I started writing this post in a little popup window from the front page of WordPress.  I don’t know why, but instead of autosaving drafts, it appears to have published the unfinished post at several intervals.  I deleted them, but later saw that they all showed up for me in Google Reader.  Sooo, if anyone else was spammed with this post several times, I apologize.  I’m also now experimenting with a desktop client called MarsEdit instead.  I have 30 days to figure out if it’s worth 39.95.

Now, on to the real blog post:

Chris and I are back from our honeymoon in London, and northern Minnesota has welcomed us with style!  After a winter almost completely devoid of any real snowfall, we finally got a blizzard!  I like blizzards, and I especially liked this one, because I got a snow day yesterday, which was supposed to be my first day back at work after the trip. Then, during my usual morning routine of checking the local newspaper’s website, I discovered that school was canceled again today!  The plows haven’t gotten to all of the roads, and conditions for the school buses weren’t good.  Yay!

Yesterday, we built a fire in the fireplace and kept it burning all day.  We relaxed and enjoyed the blizzard snow blowing in gusts all around our house.  Today, I’m ready to be extra productive.  I was all geared up to go to work, anyway.  Pretty soon, I will be getting over a busy hump at work.  The two weeks preceding our trip were extremely stressful, so this extended break is nice.  Now that things are almost calmed down, I can get back to regular blogging and be a little better about fulfilling my goal.

Here are some highlights in photos from our trip.  It seemed to us as though we didn’t take many photos, because we were too busy enjoying the experience, but it turns out we took over 150.  Not bad for being a little lazy at taking out the camera.  Click on any picture to go to its Flickr page, and from there you can also navigate through the full album of pictures from our trip.

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Written by nikkinbird

March 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

Posted in Travel

Tagged with , , , , ,

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