NaNoWriMo Day 3 Word Count: 5,130
Some people like to write with music on. Some people, I’m told, even need music to write.
I am not one of these people.
Although I’ve been known to write with a Curious George audio book playing in the background, I mostly require silence when I write. Especially when I’m just starting a writing session, I’m easily distracted. Music without words is less distracting, but any sound can give me an excuse to stop writing. And really, I don’t need any more excuses to stop writing.
But if I’m really in the zone, anything can be happening and I won’t notice it. Loud music, a radio news report, television shows, children asking me to wipe their butts: all go unnoticed if I’m in the zone.
Luckily for my children, I do most of my writing while they’re asleep.
Now the one exception to the “silence while writing” rule (aside from the “in the zone” exception. Yes, you caught me; there are two exceptions) is if I’m really stuck. Sometimes listening to a particular piece of music can get me from stuck to unstuck on something I’m writing. When it happens, which isn’t often, it’s like I can ride the music into the writing. I have to be careful writing this way, though, because the music will give my writing a distinct flavor. In college, I wrote a personal essay while listening to Ministry’s album Psalm 69. “Jesus Built My Hotrod” had a great influence on the style of that piece.
I’m one of those annoying people who picks up the accent of the person with whom I’m speaking. I think the music-to-writing transfer is a similar phenomenon. Sometimes I think this works. Other times, it clearly doesn’t. But as an unpublished writer with an underlying fear of publishing, anything that helps me have fun with my writing is probably a good thing.
Which is part of why I decided to do NaBloPoMo. I’d not heard of it until my friend Zoie over at TouchstoneZ tweeted me about it. Basically, you’re supposed to post every day for the month of November. Seeing as how I’m already doing Postaday 2011 and mostly posting every day anyway, it seemed like cheating to sign up for another “post-a-day” event. Plus, I’m jumping on the boat three days into the month, but who’s counting?
But I dig the NaBloPoMo prompts, and with NaNoWriMo going, I could use an excuse for a little more writing play. If it’s just me and my novel for too long, I start to get nervous that it’s not going anywhere/isn’t any good. Or I start to live in a strange world somewhere between fiction and reality as my thoughts of my characters bleed into my daily life. Or I just get punchy.
Blogging helps alleviate all of these symptoms.
For the “it’s no good” symptom, a blog post is much shorter than a novel (hopefully), so it’s possible to finish a post without waking my critic. It’s not even possible to write one day’s word count on the novel without waking my critic.
For the “altered state” symptom, blogging about an unrelated topic can help me get my bearings, whether in reality or in fiction. It just helps me see the border better so I’m less worried about crossing over it unwittingly.
And for the “punchy” symptom, blogging lets me get my sillies out. I do better in all aspects of my life when I have an outlet for my sillies.
But then, don’t we all?