I like writing, it is one of the reasons I started blogging oh so many moons ago, actually it was 2009 but in blogging years that like forever! I started writing short stories when I was in young, followed by angry teen punk poetry years, followed by a half-hearted attempt to start writing seriously by attending creative writing evening classes and since then it’s been sporadic with the odd attempt at NanoWriMo thrown in.
I’ve been wise never to throw away any of my notebooks or half-finished stories. Diaries may have been shredded or burned to destroy the incriminating evidence that I really do lead a pretty dull and mundane life at times. Plus now we have micro blogging, twitter and instagram to share our daily thoughts, doings and ramblings to share with complete strangers in the attempt to make someone else feel a little less ordinary. Although now twitter has become a weird mash-up of political discourse and funny videos.
Social media is weirdly addictive especially when there is a sense of impending doom because some game show host managed to become President and our own country has decided re-enact Thelma and Louise’s driving off a cliff scene with Brexit. We all kinda want to be there and not alone if Twitler decides to nuke us all because someone didn’t give a standing ovation at breakfast! But I’m trying to find the balance between caring enough to stay informed but not caring enough so that it doesn’t take over my life. So I’m finding distractions.
I haven’t done Nanowrimo for since I became self-employed because usually this the busiest time of year and even though I’ve tried, work has taken over. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo stands for national novel-writing month, it’s challenge to kickstart you into writing that novel you say you will always do but in 30 days. 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel I hear you cry, this is where you push all your fears and doubts out of the window! The one thing that probably holds people back from writing their novel is will be any good? There are no good first drafts out there and all published books have been through the editing process several times before they hot the shelves and at the end of the day it’s not about writing a killer bestseller, it’s about getting the words on paper, it’s about getting into a daily writing habit.
People do NaNoWriMo for other reasons of course, some to get the practice, some to write the dream novel, some because they like competitiveness, some people were like I’m starting 12am Fiji time! Uh no! to be honest writing 1667 is a lot harder than it sounds, you have good days and bad days. I decide to go for it this year and not fly by the seat of pants like I usually do with an idea than just popped into my head the night before. This year I picked up a story I have been working on and off for quite a few years now. It’s been at the off stage for a really long time but I had added chapters and notes here and there. It was intended to be a short story, I decided to try to make it novel, I’m just not sure of the actual specific genre just yet. I made one major tweak with a main character that gave me so much more scope to work with that I think I might just be able to pull this off. I started off yesterday with 3287 words, the trick is to write as much as you can, hit your target and go over if you can, that way when you find a day you’re unable to write for whatever reason, you feel the desperate need to catch up as the deadline looms. According to the stats if I write like this everyday I’ll be finished by Nov 16th, in reality I know that’s not going to happen. You will have days when writing is the last thing you want to do.
But you can and if you don’t hit the 50,000 word target by November 30th just keep on writing anyway.