Was it the desperate search for direction? As a writer, you’re always a sentence away from desertion. Was it the regretful qualm that external motivation surpasses internal drive? Or maybe, misguidedly, I sought again the comfort of knowing that there are others out there… putting pen to paper, caring of little else. Surly there must me a glorious reason for dedicating 30 days of my life to churning out 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month.
Yes, November is deemed by a power higher than my own to be such a month. When, just last week, I discovered the event via writer Viansa Blake’s blog, I nearly immediately decided against it. First of all, to splutter out a 175-page novel in 30 days is a heavy undertaking, though ambitiously achievable. But it would be pure dreck, and utterly unreadable. Second, I am in the midst of writing a wonderful story, with which I plan to do more than win a witless penrace. So, no, I decided, and went back to my knitting.
However, in spite of myself, I began to wonder almost feverishly… What would come of it? 50,000 words from scratch. 30 days. I wondered… I thought of the characters that might be born. Where might they go? Who might they become? I could not ignore the lure that was coming over me post-dismissal. As I carefully peeled back the pages of the website, I already knew. I signed up with shameful haste.
It is a terrible idea, but I’m committed to it. I am giving way to curiosity. Beginning November 1 I will be stationed on a green couch in my purple-walled office, sleepily meeting my self-imposed quota. It is a strange and elusive comfort that tens of thousands of other writers have taken the exact same plunge.
I fear, as I should, that I will damage the capabilities I have been meticulously weaving. Writing from the unconscious – from where you dream – is not a feat lightly achieved. Still I fight the urged to think, to impose my ideas on my characters, as if I knew better than they. The enemies of perfectly feathered fiction are summary and analysis, and I fear an arbitrary deadline will coax me back into bad habits. It will have to be me that decides if the experience is worth its injuries.
Despite my obvious hesitation, the excitement mounts! Just 12 days left of sanity and clean hair.
If you are interested in participating in NaNoWriMo, please let me know! You can visit the official website to sign up.
Happy Novel Writing.