While everyone I know in the writer world is getting deeply invested in their novel – hopefully already at 7,000 ish words…(I don’t honestly know because I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but hopefully you’re all exceeding your wildest expectations), I’ve been trying other things to remind myself I’m still adequate.
I’m really proud of all of you for attempting that novel you’ve been waiting for all year and preparing with notes on receipts, napkins, and library over due cards. Maybe you have a journal with an outline of what will happen with your main character. Or maybe you’ve just prepared for November by reading all of your favorite books over again and deciding what they have that you need to steal and insert into your own tangible novel. It’s in your future, it’s in your hands, and you can do this (best Adam Sandler impression). I’m backing everyone I know who’s writing something epic, even if I only love one sentence of its entirety. (Which will never happen because you’re all small forms of Writing Gods).
Just for confidence: Night Circus by Erin Morganstern was started on NaNoWriMo and now it’s up for Book of the Year on Goodreads.com. (If you haven’t voted in the GoodReads awards than you should probably get too that on your breaks for stretching, and scolding yourself for letting your character fall into that cave). So, just because you’re sitting there running your fingers through your hair in obsessive strokes every two minutes and the screen is still shining its great white expanse and all of a sudden your skin feels paler and sicker from the white blare – don’t worry, music can come too during NaNoWriMo – that’s why you’re writing everyday. That’s why your dedicating November to gluttonous writing instead of gluttonous eating and all those tiny hairs you’d grow with a Movember stash are falling out because you’re losing your mind into a plot. We all understand why you’re irritable, or grumpy, or need to fall into a Sleeping-Beauty-Esque-Coma, and at the end we will all wait for you to recite your novel during our bedtimes. So prepare yourself, may the force of the pen be with each and every one of you.
If you’re a highly competitive writer/person then you should probably read this ridiculous Salon article on NaNoWriMo and prove Laura Miller (the woman with her polka dotted panties in a wad) wrong. Haters always make me motivated (I said that in my best slang voice).
Rather than torture myself, and my hair (I’m a compulsive picker when I’m stressed, and not of hairs still attached but of the white-ended ones), I have yet to partake in National Novel Writing Month in the “writing a novel” capacity. I don’t have characters in my head speaking too me for 50’000 words worth of paper, or characters that are itching those small neurons in my brain to write their Pulitzer winning stories, so I have declined any and all invitations to partake. I don’t even, frankly, know what I want to write at this point. Definitely not fantasy because I learned early on that my section of toy magazines was not the gun section, it was the Blonde barbie section. I also am still letting the poetry muse dust by with her grumpy voice and whisper in my ear. So, I’m not as totally focused on fiction or non-fiction as I should be. I am becoming more interested everyday in nonfiction, but I think I’ve made that clear.
Here’s more of a list of why I’m not participating:
- My job(s) take over my life. If I’m not at work, I’m usually worrying about a teenager, or worrying about a poem that may have been rejected that is still reverberating in my mind. I’m also wondering who’s washing the dishes when I’m not there…(fret, fret, fret).
- I am not focused enough in my writing to dedicate myself to 50,000 pages.
- Because of that, and my competitive spirit thanks to years of year-round swimming, I can’t dedicate myself to something and not finish it.
- Then, I would be completely disappointed with the outcome of my 1st novel, if I could even call it that and probably sink into a depression of not being the writing genius I so think I am.
- I haven’t read Night Circus yet.
- I need to up my WPM before I attempt to let my mind drain novel escapades.
- I think all of my characters would have too much sex, and too many pimples.
- I need a writing cottage like Laurie Halse Anderson and Roald Dahl.
- I want to run a something(k) for charity so that I can get one of those cool stickers for the back of my car.
- This list is tiring me out, let alone an entire novel.
Other writer huts/cottages/hovels can be found here.
- 5 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo
- Melville House Books (thoughts on NaNo)
- Three Novel-Writing Alternatives to NaNo
- How NaNo helped Julia win a three-book deal
- Everyone’s favorite agent, Nathan Bransford speaks up
- Persephone Magazine Tips Round 2
- New York Times Books article (always a valuable source eh?)