But in fact there turns out to be something about piling up words!
Monday I had written 2,000+ words but later that day I was sure they were not the right direction and I would have to bracket them.
But Wednesday (Tuesday was dedicated to madly reading everything I could find online about the elections) I looked back over everything and discovered the words I had written Monday were actually not so far off! So they didn't get bracketed.
What I'm finding is that in the rough piling up of words, with a direction vaguely in mind but not a structure or an outline or a sense of clear direction, something is happening. I am discovering the outlines of a story, of a group of people living together.
Before I started the NaNoWriMo I had been, for a few days, doing a poetry exercise that consists of writing nonstop until a page is filled up. It seemed silly at first and unproductive a number of times. But in fact it is seeming that I'm almost doing the same thing with the NaNoWriMo, except that the universe is more constrained in the NaNoWriMo writing, and the piled-up words are taking on shapes.
It's the roughest of rough drafts of anything and it's not like anything I would have written without the NaNoWriMo structure, but of course I might not have written anything at all without that structure, and I'm happy with what's happening. I feel as though what this might end up producing is the information, the knowledge, the events, and the characters that make up my novel - I may have to rewrite it completely but I think those things will be in place by the end.