One of the strangest things about these month long writing challenges like NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy is how, at the end of the month, you find yourself simultaneously completely sick of it and keen to get your normal life back and a little sad to see it go. There’s that feeling of relief from being finished while you still miss the frenzy of all that writing. You’re sick of doing all that work but once you get your normal life back, you wonder what you ever did with all this free time.
Screnzy 2012 was a weird one for me. I was still rather sick for the first half of it so the only writing I did was at write-ins until mid-month. This was also a very busy month at my “day job” and I was burnt out and exhausted from several all nighters in the midst of what should have been my most productive writing time. But you’ll notice that, whining aside, I still finished with over 100 pages. My final count was 131. But it was… unsatisfying because I didn’t get to do what I set out to do.
The thing that really messed me up this year was the fact that I attempted to be a rebel. See, my original plan for Screnzy was…
- Get a final draft (aka the one I’d show to crit partners) version of The Muppet Play, which was written but (I foolishly thought) only needed a little light editing
- Finish a draft of either TheLibrary, which needed to be entirely rewritten keeping only a scene or so, or a new play I only wrote a scene of (nicknamed DotW play)
- Write my share of the horror movie I’m writing with my cousins and husband that we’re planning to shoot this summer for our own amusement
This would have been well over 100 pages of new writing but also quite a bit of editing and the slower editing/re-writing I do when trying to get to a final draft. So it was well over 100 pages but that seemed fair because I was a being a rebel… I should make it a bit harder on myself. Except these are the problems I ran into…
- I thought The Muppet Play needed just a quick once over. The second act needed to be completely scrapped and re-written. Which meant a lot more of the slower journey-to-the-final-draft type writing mentioned above than I planned for.
- TheLibrary is such a mess that even after banging on it for a while, I still don’t know how to fix it so I figured it’s best to just let it sit for a while. Looking back, I have no idea why I didn’t finish DotW play so let’s call that one senility. I think I just forgot it was a thing.
- I wrote quite a bit of the horror movie but, as the only “real” (ha!) writer, my job was to fill in the scenes between everyone else’s scenes aka do the parts no one else wanted to write. My writing partners had some drama and computer issues this month so they didn’t finish their parts which made that sort of difficult.
I realized early that The Muppet play needed to be my main focus and be the bulk of my work this month but I didn’t take into account that, as an ML, you really can’t be a Screnzy rebel. I had to be the head cheerleader for every write-in and to actually participate in every word sprint. Which meant that I spent almost the whole month writing random new stuff so that I could compete in word wars and only spare moments getting to work on The Muppet Play. There was just no way to do the slower editing/rewriting that the play needed while still filling my duties to my area.
I don’t resent being an ML this year, I love my area and I love being an ML. I just realized that I really need to make sure I have a new project to write for NaNoWriMo and Screnzy planned out for as long as I’m in this role because it’s just plain impossible to do rewriting/editing and unfair to my region to try to be a rebel. It’s also harder to count on the write-ins for productivity for Script Frenzy because everyone has so many more questions about script formatting that I spend a lot more time answering questions and helping than I do for NaNoWriMo and that really cuts into the writing time.
I think that’s why I’m feeling unsatisfied. I didn’t ge the time I wanted on the project I most wanted to do and I “wasted” time writing random new scenes and plays with no forethought just to be a team player. Granted, I’m a firm believer that no writing is time wasted and I’m sure I’ll use everything I wrote this month someday but I find myself frustrated that, 30 days later, I didn’t complete any of my goals other than the most basic goal of writing over 100 pages.
This post is getting a little down. I should bring it back around with a little dancing Gene Kelly.
See? Much better.
So, how did your 2012 Screnzy experience go? Did you reach 100 pages?