We’ll return to your regularly unscheduled Nanowrimo spotlight tomorrow, but today I wanted to share a small epiphany about my writing process. As many of my friends and followers may know, I set myself creative goals for each month, and I often like to switch between different books, stories, or other projects I’m working on at the same time. My October Goals list was pretty ambitious, and I’ve been scrambling a little to get ready for Nanowrimo (both in the personal writing sense and as a Hamilton ML,) and also cross as many things off that list as I can.
But Saturday evening, as I was going over the list, and sitting in a Codex chat room, something odd happened. I picked one thing on the list which was a leftover from my September list, finishing the revision outline for “Won’t somebody Think of the Children”, decided that darnit I was going to make some progress on that before I went to bed. So I started to look for the folder where I’d put the outline in progress…
And something inside my brain complained! It wasn’t anything that I could put into words right away, but as I sat there at the laptop, trying to figure out what was wrong, I got a good guess of what the problem was. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on developing plot bunnies for two different novel ideas I’m going to be tackling in November, as well as revising some of my short stories and going through a course on learning how to write good flash fiction. I think that at this point, trying to juggle three different novels, the two I’m going to be writing in about a week and the one that I was planning revisions for in September, is just too much for my brain to be holding and working with in the same timeframe.
I don’t want to force either “Never Found” or “Hypermappers” out of the creative side of my brain and then try to get back up to speed with them in a hurry, so the revision outline for “Children” is officially on hold until December at least. 😉
I’ve never really thought that much about how much story I can work with at a time, or run into the limit in quite this way before, but it makes some sense. In the Iron Druid books, the main character, Atticus, talks about building ‘headspaces’ that he can then use to perform Druidic bindings like taking many people across to another plane of existence at the same time. He builds up the headspaces by learning languages or memorizing great swathes of literature by productive people. His apprentice still has only one or two headspaces at this point in the series, so she’s more limited in what she can do.
So that’s about it. For now, I’m respecting my headspace limit and trying to minimize the creative stuff that I’m doing this week beyond prepping for Nano. Four days, four hours and counting!