On the brink of October ending, I have more on my mind than just Halloween. Once again I find myself pondering - and foolishly committing to - National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge to take the month of November and, by writing around 1700 words each day, write a 50,000 word novel. I've participated and "won" for the past two years (winning involves completing 50,000 words before midnight on November 30th) but I'm hesitant to participate again.
My first reason for stalling is that I don't have too many ideas. This is the first year that I've struggled to develop a title and though I've been working through some outlining and pre-writing, I just don't know if my ideas are any good. Secondly, I feel a bit like I've already completed two 50,000+ projects that are for the most part unreadable and in desperate need of editing. I've yet to take the steps of revisiting my work and polishing it so I feel a little senseless persuing another draft when my first two have gone nowhere.
But when I think about the fun involved of seeing a story come to life... when I take a day and write a character that I never even planned to create... there's a thrill to it. Yes, there are the frustrating days when I want to dropkick my laptop out the train door. Yes, there are the writer's block moments when I seem to plug out nothing but cheesy dialog. But when each day brings me closer to a novel - even a largely unreadable first draft of a novel - it's exciting. And completion is pure elation.
Funny thing is, as much as I like to write and to write about writing, I don't like to talk about my novel. I think it's near impossible to say the words "my novel" outloud without sounding a bit pretentious. Go ahead try it, "The other day I was working on my novel..." - don't you instantly sound a bit more full of yourself? Maybe it's just me. My writer identity (I still can't use the word *author*) isn't one I'm completely comfortable with. A sure fire way to make me blush is to bring up my writing in public.
I'm giving it another go, though. I came across a quote the other day that read, "Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." For me, that's what NaNoWriMo is about. I'm not pursuing publication. I don't even write for an audience. It's just about me creating something new. Because it isn't there.
10 months ago