3am lightbulb

I’m doing my own version of Nanowrimo. I’m not sticking to just November, (my story will be longer than 50k anyway) but have set myself a high word count to meet each week (it’s harder to do in Australia when it is warm, sunny and the long days means the outdoors beckons – plus it’s the last few weeks of the school year so there’s lots happening with the Barbarians).

I’ve got off to a dismal beginning. The starting gun went bang and I’m still lingering near the start line. It’s not that I haven’t tried writing, it’s that my characters were hiding in the back room with the light turned off. I just couldn’t see them. I knew a bit about my story and had worked out the conflicts, had an idea for the black moment… even so, I couldn’t get a word down. Talk about pulling teeth!

Then, in one of those 3am epiphanies that have you reaching for pen and paper in the dark, it came to me. I needed to shift one little thing in my story and suddenly my characters were happy. It was like in the movie Labyrinth and I could suddenly move past the brick wall that was in my way.

The reason I hadn’t been able to write was because subconsciously I knew what I was writing wasn’t what my story needed. It really did feel like a wall inside me came crashing down. I feel calmer, enthused and excited – even though the daily word count I need is now a little scary.

Now my characters are happy to play and the words are flowing. I might be starting behind the eight ball with my word count, but my characters are as eager as me to get the words down. Who knows, I may make my goal post after all.

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