November 30th and I’ve finished NaNoWriMo 2016 with 50,620 words! Even though this is the fifth Nano I’ve won, it is still quite a natural high. Every time I finish a novel and write The End, I feel like I’ve just reached the summit of Mt. Everest.
This month offered a variety of challenges that threatened my nano word count. I started the month with a migraine that lasted several days and ended it with food poisoning. Also the first weekend in November my kids and grand baby moved back from Japan.
I decided that if I was going to finish (failure was not an option) I needed to maximize whatever time I could find. At work I reserved the conference room to use on my lunch hour so I had a full hour to write undisturbed. I was able to get a good 1200 -1400 words in each lunchtime.
In the evenings I never knew when I came home if my kids and grand baby would be waiting for me. So the nights I was free, I concentrated on writing as much as I could. With such small snippets of time I needed to get into the flow of writing quickly.
I’d been reading the book FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In it he explains many concepts about flow and enjoyment of life. I noticed that getting into the flow of writing, that place where I’m totally immersed in my fictional world and can write 1200 to 5000 words in a few hours, is total enjoyment for me. Which of course, since enjoyable, encouraged me to write anytime I could find. I didn’t have any issues with so-called writer’s block, or procrastination.
Csikszentmihalyi also talks about this flow experience as not only affecting our enjoyment of life, but to our contribution to the world around us:
“Flow is important both because it makes the present instant more enjoyable, and because it builds the self-confidence that allows us to develop skills and make significant contributions to humankind.” FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.