NaNo ParticipantThe sleeves on a sweater I made this summer were knit on 4 needles. When I finished knitting the second sleeve, I tried the sweater on and the sleeve just didn’t feel right. I had used needles that were a size too small and not noticed. Fed up, I left the sweater in the knitting bag and walked away. I just didn’t feel like unravelling and reknitting the thing after putting all that work into it the first time.

On Saturday, my NaNoWriMo novel hit the same snag. I happily wrote a scene of great danger and suspense, met my word quota for the day, and closed the laptop. On Sunday, I realized that I had written the wrong scene. Unlike the sweater, where I could put off tearing it down and fixing it as long as I wanted, the novel needed to keep going—right away. I used Chris Baty’s delete method—highlighted the useless chunk of writing and changed the font colour to white so I couldn’t see it anymore. Then I wrote another scene, one that fits the story, and makes the next scene—and the next—possible.

The crazy NaNo deadline kept me from moaning about my wasted writing time and put my focus where it should be—on getting the book finished. Once the new piece was written, the feelings of annoyance at the waste of time and effort on something that was destined for the delete button went away. It felt good to find another solution, to fix what was wrong and, more important, to know I could do it. Back on track, I am now looking forward to clicking out Monday’s instalment.

I’m ready to finally face the sweater, too. Unravel, pick up the stitches, start again. And next time, I won’t wait so long.

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