First of all, Movember? A very worthwhile cause, but moustaches are creepy.
And the end of Daylight Savings Time? I despise Daylight Savings Time, both the start of it and the end of it, for I find mucking with the time twice a year very jarring to my circadian rhythm.
My birthday is in November, on the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp. I quite like my birthday but resent having my birthday month tainted by icky ‘staches and disruptions to my sleep.
And then there’s NaNoWriMo….
Unlike my fully realized feelings on Movember, DST, and my birthday, I’ve yet to work out how I feel about National Novel Writing Month.
For one thing, I’ve never done it. Nor am I doing it this year. Nor am I even sure I want to someday.
Let me re-phrase that last thought: I feel like I do want to do it someday, but I’m not sure if that’s because I relish the challenge it offers or because I feel like I should want to since it’s such a renowned event in the writing community.
The simple fact is that I am a slow writer. I’m pretty sure I always have been, for although I’ve been writing seriously since I was in high school, the amount of time I’ve had to devote to writing has constantly changed.
In high school, I wrote a 50-page novella in 15 days, but I worked on it during English class, lunch, spares, and at home.
My first (incomplete, shelved, someday to be rewritten) novel was a big, fat morbidly obese fantasy of 960 pages (recall: incomplete) that I worked on consistently for three years.
I wrote the first volume of my novel-in-two-volumes historical fiction WIP in nine months (which is actually pretty fast for me), but that was while I was unemployed.
In any case, I could probably count on two hands then number of times my daily word count has exceeded 1000 words. Hell – has reached 1000 words.
NaNoWriMo requires 1667 words a day.
A right way to write?
I’ve blogged before about how being a slow writer is the thing that bothers me the most about my writing.
It’s not a constant bother – most of the time, it hovers in my subconscious, kept at bay by the fact that I’ve got wicked-awesome discipline. I’ve got only two hours a day to write, and I guard that time ferociously, not the least of which is against internet distractions, even going so far as to unplug my modem while writing.
Come November, however, I do tend to fret a bit more than usual. Again I get plagued by the shoulds: I should be able to writer faster; everyone else seems able to do so.
What’s my problem anyway? Am I slow because…
- I’m writing historical fiction, struggling to capture the ethos and voices of an ancient time period?
- I’m trying to capture the truest essence of what I want to say in my first draft?
- I believe the time it would me to write a clean first draft would be the same as (if not less than) what it would take to write and repair a messy first draft?
- I’m still new relatively new at writing and finishing things, and at this point don’t know any other way to write?
- I didn’t finish my first novel, and am now desperate to not get the end of my current one and discover it too is an unsalvageable mess?
Is any of this even a problem at all? I mean, at least I’m actually writing. Maybe this is just the way I’m meant to do it.
NaNoWriMo does seem like a great rite of passage that the tribe of the writer is embarking, though – one that I’m missing out on. The online community and forums surrounding NaNo seem especially positive, even toward those who don’t end up “winning” (i.e. writing 50,000 words in 30 days).
I’m still not going to do it this year. I’m both too close yet too far from the end of my WIP to pause it now. Nor do I think it’s a good idea to go all NaNo on the last quarter of my novel when that hasn’t been my writing style all along. I already feel like I’m holding my breath while writing these days, trying to create an ending that nicely ties up the plot and resolves all the previous emotional turmoil without inadvertently leaving something out.
But come next year, who knows where in my writing I’ll be. Maybe next year, despite “No” being the first syllable in November, my answer to NaNoWriMo will be “Hell yes!”
A/N: For all you writers out there who are participating in NaNoWriMo, good luck!