A plane, a train, a novel

I’ve had a work trip scheduled for the second week of November since the summer. Despite the terrific progress I have been making on the plot, and the word count, being away for five days was always going to be a challenge.

My usual work methods were going to have to adjusted. On a plane, I cannot dictate text, without becoming the worst traveler of all time, and all-day meetings are not super great for creative thinking, even if I doodle quick notes on paper when I have brainwaves. And as an introvert, spending all day interacting with people is exhausting, so the last thing I can do is write for another few hours after a day of small talk.

This is why I ran up the word count the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, and then set incredibly modest goals for my time away. With any luck, by the time I was back at full strength, I’d still be in the game. Or ahead of it.

My first travel day was unexpectedly productive. I pulled together a couple of plot threads that were driving me nuts on the airport bus. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted thinking time, where all I had to do was look out the window and think about plot, unlocked my brain. By the time I got through security, I had a bunch of bullets hastily written on my phone, and as soon as I found a seat in departures, I was knocking out text. With a brief break for boarding, I was back at it once we levelled off, and I wrote for two hours straight.

From the plane to the train into the city, I thought through a solution to another plot problem, and once I was on the train into the city, I was back into my draft.

NaNoWriMo plane train novelI was so sure these few days would be disastrous for my writing, I set a modest goal of 3,000 words for the five days I will be away. By the time I pulled into Union Station, I was over 3,600 words. For the day.

It turns out I’m really enjoying the gonzo NaNoWriMo novel-writing process, but the thing I’m enjoying the most is how I’m finding new ways to write, old habits be damned.


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