So, I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time, working on my Theatre Ghost Book.
It seems like people are either wildly fond or incredibly dismissive about NaNo.
Full disclosure: A few months ago, some old friends were all, La, I shall write a novel! Sounds like a fun lark! And maybe I hadn’t had my daily ration of chocolate, or maybe I was still grappling with how Garolass had been shelved, I don’t remember, but hooboy I was pissed. It felt like that attitude took something I have been struggling to do for two years–write a good, publishable book–something I want more than anything at present–and made it sound easy-peasy.
But that wasn’t the intention. And there’s another way to look at it: all this enthusiasm! About writing! About creativity! About making those things a priority! All of these college friends (and a bunch of writer-friends too) are struggling along next to me, grappling with the same things I grapple with all the time. Okay, so creating a 50K skeleton isn’t the same as revising and polishing up for an agent with the intent of publication and building a career on it. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Writing as hobby, as creative outlet, as pure play, is nothing to scoff at.
And it’s in that spirit that I joined NaNo. I have two main purposes:
1. Find writing time. I’ve never been a daily writer. I may not be after November, either. But I’m still trying to find a balance between writing and the rest of life, between introvert and social butterfly, that I’m happy with. It’s easy for me to accept invitations or make plans to see shows and then before I’ve really thought about it, I have plans six out of seven nights in a row, and several days have gone by without writing, and I’m grumpy and my brain feels all itchy. I am also guilty of wanting big blocks of time to Sit and Write, when sometimes I could get quite a lot done in half an hour here and there. I like the idea that NaNo will force me to use those little pockets of time: half an hour at lunch in the caf, 45 minutes on the metro back from dinner with my bestie in VA, writing instead of a nap on a Saturday afternoon, an hour of editing the day’s wordcount before bed that turns into two hours and 500 more words…
2. It’s an excuse to be less of a perfectionist. That doesn’t mean writing crap, or not being thoughtful about it. But I’m playing. Trying out the Scrivener beta for Windows, experimenting with shorter chapters, playing with a very different voice, writing out of order instead of chronologically. And it’s been fun so far.
What about you? How do you feel about NaNo?