NaNoWriMo Day 8: Trudging along

I hadn’t written more than 700 words the two previous days, but as Singapore is on a holiday today, I tried to catch up. I did pretty well, I think:

[pfmeter id=3 target=50000 progress=20299]

That’s almost half of the goal by the eighth day, which isn’t bad at all (this might still grow within the day, as it’s only 9pm). Unfortunately, I’m still not half into the 2.5 years that my memoir is supposed to cover. Granted, there shouldn’t be too much after the first year, but I’m unearthing a lot of things from my journals as I go along that I never really know.

There are two things that are bogging me down from going through the events:

  1. Research. There’s a lot of journal entries to wade through, both relevant and irrelevant to the memoir, but things I need to go through anyway.
  2. Processing. This does chronicle a trying time in my life, and going through my journals is painful and troublesome.

I’ve come to the conclusion that creation itself is also scary. It’s not just the pain that going further in the memoir is going to give me, but also the general reluctance and fear that comes packaged into translating something into writing. Already I’m running into decisions that I’m putting off until the second draft: decisions and questions like, should I be as faithful as possible to what really happened or can I combine certain conversations together in order to conserve space? and how do I filter out effectively all that’s not needed, or how do I compact these into shorter, more concise scenes?

Already, I see that whatever my output for this month is, by the second draft, it’s going to be cut by half. I’m going to have to wade in with a highlighter and highlight important scenes and ideas and emotions, and find out how to make it more concise (see Questions Number One, above) and cut off the rest. I also see that I am going to need a printer, and lots of scrap paper. Oh joy.

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