Friday, December 10, 2010

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

From this post
With four days left, I'm at nearly 26,000 words. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I was also trying to do something new (such as outline the story before I began writing). And of course I HAD to read (listen to) the new Wheel of Time monster book that came out on November 2nd. So you can see I have plenty of excuses for not hitting the 50,000 mark by midnight on the 30th.

More importantly, I've realized a few things.

1. NaNo's not for me. Not officially anyway. I find my children who have oppositionally defiant attitudes must have come by them honestly--through me. I have hated the "I must write" aspect of NaNo. I write because I love it; it's fun. I thrill in learning new things and being part of the creative process. I found that much of the joy I usually feel when I write has been sucked out this month. That is definitely not what I'd hoped to get out the NaNo experience.

2. I may not be cut out to be a published author if I don't like being pinned down to deadlines. How's that for self destructive? As I've been reading published authors' blogs and they talk about editing deadlines for their publishers, I begin to have serious reservations. However, it's not like I'm doing this to make a bunch of money. That's absolutely not what I'm in it for. But if writing deadlines bring out the juvenile part of me, that's not encouraging.

It's also not exactly in character, since I don't have problems with deadlines at work. Heck, I'm my city's election official! I have a five-page-long checklist I have to follow to make sure I don't break the law while conducting the election. So it's not that I have inherent problems with deadlines. Perhaps I'm having trouble forcing creativity into a narrow time frame. Yet think how many published authors there are who work with deadlines all the time.

So much to learn ... even about myself.

3. I still like the idea of NaNo. I made my first attempt at writing a novel last January after hearing about it. I did it on my own just to see if I could actually complete a manuscript. I've been editing it off and on ever since, and I'm very close to completing it. I was able to write 80,000 words in 30 days.

So I'm looking forward to December 1st, the day of my liberation. =D

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