Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NaNo Stole my Life Week Two...

I am an unstoppable writing force.

Or so I have been chanting for the past week. I've been knee deep in the most dreadful, obsessive, and haunting story I've ever worked on. What started off as a paranormal lark had me in tears (mostly from exhaustion) earlier this evening when I came across a revelation about one of my characters and a necessary plot point.

I am not sure why I have become so addicted to NaNo this year. Last year I fell behind within the first week. This year I am well ahead of my targets and generally continue writing for the thrill of the word count. Everything I'm writing feels rushed and feverish and I know that in a month I will scratch my head in frustration at my sloppy writing and incomprehensible plot.

So, why am I foraging on? Why not just keep a more humane pace and produce a better quality of writing?

A very good question. The only answer I've come up with is that NaNo has created for me an urgency that I normally lack in my average writing life. Most of the time I aim to complete between 2500-3000 words a week. I have been writing about that much every day since NaNo kicked off. I have been befuddled with my own progress. I think NaNo has reminded me that it is possible for me to write an incredible amount in a short time. It has rekindled in me a passion that I haven't felt for writing in well over three years.

I think that's the secret to NaNo. NaNo reminds us (much like a recent election campaign slogan) that “yes we can”. Anyone can write a novel (I didn't say anything about the quality of the novel in question). All you need is staying power, a good (or bad) idea, and the time to devote to your novel. NaNo asks for one month, a mere thirty days, to be dedicated solely to indulging in your literary asperations. If you follow the timeline and writing guidelines you soon realize that you have a million hidden moments in your day that you can reclaim and turn into productive writing sessions. I find myself brainstorming on the train, plotting as walk down to the corner shop to get my lunch, and creating scenes as I wash my dishes. My creativity has been at an all time high this month, I think this is because I've been forcing myself to be receptive to all the ideas that have passed through my brain. While I am sure that one I had about jump roping unicorns will probably not see the light of day, the rest of my ideas are all jotted down in my notebook for a future day/plot/story. Ready for when NaNo ends and I have to return to a much more reasonable pace and may not be as receptive to my own creativity.

So, if I appear a little distracted or unfocussed this week I ask you to bear with me. Next week I will write about something non-NaNo related. I've already got a title for you: When to Go: A Minion's Tale. So bear with me for this week.

Yours Minion (21579 and counting)

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