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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

The Create for Life Post-Game Report

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

The Create for Life Post-Game Report

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Well, my attempt to write for CFL for 24 hours yesterday was both successful and not. It was successful in the most important ways. It fell shy of my intentions in terms of bragging rights.

I didn't end up writing for 24 hours, not because I became too tired or tapped out. To the contrary, when I stopped writing, I was wide awake and with plenty of energy left, thanks to a cup o' Barry's, my favorite Irish tea. But ... I ran out of story.

First, I severely underestimated my speed as a writer. Before CFL, my personal record was 10,000 words written in a day, accomplished during NaNoWriMo one year. Before that, it was 9,000 words in a day. Based on that, I figured 15,000 was a good ballpark for CFL, since I figured I would drop off in speed around 10,000 and would probably spend the rest of the event eking out the remaining 5,000 words. I figured I might inch over 15,000, but I could just as easily fall a bit shy.

I was wrong. I hit 15,000 with several hours left in the event. That wouldn't have been a problem, if I didn't also hit the point where I had nothing left to write. I had reached the end of what I planned to write, hours before quitting time, and had no story planned beyond that point. I didn't think I'd come close to reaching that point in one day. Part of the reason I did, I know, is that in moments of reduced inspiration and energy, I wrote mostly plot, and I still have a lot of backstory and theme to work in, but that is not something I'm capable of doing justice to in a marathon.

So it's absolutely not a bad thing to have reached my goal as far as the donations it has earned for cancer research, but I really wanted to say that I wrote for 24 hours straight.

The good thing is that I did end up with a bit of sleep. Not enough--I'm pretty tired now--but I not dragging like I expected, which is good, since I have schoolwork I need to do. I always find that these "extreme writing" events, like NaNoWriMo or when I write 20+ stories in a month for gifts, teach me a lot about myself as a writer. I'm going to try to put some of those musings into words on the Heretic Loremaster later this week.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/261020.html
  • I was wrong. I hit 15,000 with several hours left in the event. That wouldn't have been a problem, if I didn't also hit the point where I had nothing left to write. I had reached the end of what I planned to write, hours before quitting time, and had no story planned beyond that point. I didn't think I'd come close to reaching that point in one day. Part of the reason I did, I know, is that in moments of reduced inspiration and energy, I wrote mostly plot, and I still have a lot of backstory and theme to work in, but that is not something I'm capable of doing justice to in a marathon.

    I think it was a success, and congratulations! I don't think theme and backstory is something I could do on a marathon, either.

    Big hugs!!
    • *hugs back* Thank you, Siân! I'm figuring I'm going to have to rewrite some entire sections. I find that I don't mind. I'm not a big fan of massive revision, but once a certain hour hit yesterday, I honestly don't remember much of what I wrote, so it'll kind of be like writing it again for the first time anyway! :D
      • I honestly don't remember much of what I wrote, so it'll kind of be like writing it again for the first time anyway! :D

        I know what you mean. Sometimes I used to write late into the night for hours, and did not really remember when I looked back.

        I think you did brilliantly.
  • Barry's is the only tea. :D

    And raising money for cancer research is a wonderful thing.
    • I <3 Barry's, right down to the comfort of the little pillow-shaped teabags! :D We keep Barry's in bidness in the House of Felagund!
  • (no subject) - eli_14
    • I'm never 100% pleased with anything, but the important stuff got done, so I'm content, at least. :) Please don't be hard on yourself; I know I'm not telling you anything new that muses can be fickle as hell and don't always show when you want/need them! I was half-terrified that I'd sit down to write and find that I hated the story. (That happened the last time I did NaNoWriMo.) I just lucked out that the muses were with me on this one. I'm sorry that yours crapped out on you.

      Given both our lives the last month, especially yours, I think we can both be pleased at having pulled off this event. :)
  • Sounds like success to me -- congratulations!

    *hugs*
  • Well its an extra bonus that it came with writerly insights! Go you. :)
    • Thanks, Rhapsy! :) You know, intensive writing usually is more effective for me as meta than as actually getting anything productive done. I've yet to actually finish a NaNovel (someday, someday), and the one that's closest, I've mentally revised so much that I might as well just start over. (I so know how Tolkien felt in that regard!)

      Now I'm free to cheer from the sidelines for you and the other NaNovelists this year! \0/
  • Congratulations! Oh, Dawn, you are always such an overachiever. I am envious.
    • Hey, I'm not called Hermione without reason! :D (Even my mentor is calling me that now.)

      If you knew how much revision those 15,000-some words need, you might be less envious. ;) It was for a great cause but certainly didn't convince me that writing 15,000 words in a day is good for my writing!
      • Yes, if anyone deserves that Hermione icon you do. I can't sneeze at 15,000 words even if it needed as much revision as mine might.
        • Yes, it seems we are polar opposites throughout much of the creative process! :) I am very much a marathon writer. Sometimes, it's not a bad thing--the 9,000- and 10,000-word sprees were because the story demanded it of me, not because I was trying for a particular goal. They didn't need much revision as a result. But then, I can't usually write at all for some days afterward. I do much better to write 1,000 to 3,000 words per day and write steadily every day (but don't have time for that right now. :^/) If I force a high word count (like yesterday or sometimes for NaNo), it's not my best writing at all.
  • Congratulations! I'd regard that as a stunning success. However, it looks as if, should you ever attempt to do a marathon again, you'd better be planning a trilogy, in case you speed up any more and run out of plot again! Hope you get a chance to catch up on sleep now.
    • Thank you, Himring! :D My family came over today for a "keep Dawn awake" dinner, and my husband has been taking good care of me, so I'm feeling quite well at the moment. :) We're taking it easy for the rest of the night. (Of course, part of taking it easy for me is writing an article for my job, but I can't completely abandon my overachiever personality. ;)
  • I see you continue to raise your own bar! That can be most devastating if you ever actually DO fall short. Really, it sounds like you did a superb job and the "rest of the story" can always come later. Kindly add me to your collection of admirers and friends...You ROCK!

    You may not think you're tired now but when that crash hits...as the adrenalin and inspiration wear off - plan ahead, put on your jammies and be ready to fall into bed. A nice cup of whatever soothing tea you like should accompany you. ;-)
    • Thank you, Chagan! :D I do raise my own bar, but I think I'm going to stop at 15,000. Part of my brain, of course, is saying, "Dawn, you could have gone easily to 20,000, maybe more." But my writing didn't benefit from doing 15,000 words in a day, and if this hadn't been for a cause I care very much about, then I probably would have stopped well before that point.

      Bobby has been taking very good care of me today! Our families came over for a Keep Dawn Awake dinner tonight. He let me peel some potatoes but, otherwise, the meal was in his hands. It's been a nice laid-back day. I'm getting ready to write an article now but then plan to watch a Tudors episode, then bedtime! :)
  • Way to go! *waves pom-poms*
  • Remember the other day when you told me I was to hard with myself? Well who is hard on herself now? Dawn, I don't want to hear that you call this "not quite successful"! What you did was a *BIG* success. Many people (me included) couldn't do it, and you also did a great deed - for life. Congratulations and thank you. *hugs*
    • *hugs you* I am cracking up at how well you have turned my own words on me! :D (Though you were being too hard on yourself. ;) Indeed, I tend to be just a wee bit perfectionist (just a wee bit. really. 8^) and hard on myself as a result. But you are totally right, and I really am pleased with how it turned out.
  • Late, but: congratulations! Can't wait to read the meta that's coming. :)
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