This is my year. NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do it. All that self-doubt of the past is gone (alright not gone but shoved down by newfound hope). I need to write this book. I want to write this book! In past years I’ve gone into NaNo with a sense of dred. Every line had to be perfect. Every part of my plot needed to make 100% sense and be exciting. I didn’t allow myself room to make mistakes. To write a silly scene that I’d laugh at myself about later. I also tried too hard to make some big statement about my own life.
This time I’m going into NaNo telling myself that the entire thing may suck when I get done. But that’s okay. Because it’ll be 50,000 words of practice I didn’t have before November. And after November I’ll just keep going. I’ll perfect my story or start anew. I’ll go to writing events and classes (I’ve already signed up for one that I’m excited about) and hone my skills. Being a writer has been a desire of mine for a long time. I’ve never excelled at it though. I change tenses too much. I talk in a weird, 3rd person narration. And then I don’t. I have characters I don’t understand in places I can’t describe.
I’ve spent the past week or so really brainstorming. I’ve found some online blogs that really help. This post about character development really kicked me over the edge. I went from a uncertain but excited to “I can do this! I can go through these steps and make an awesome character from this!”. So now uncertain has pretty much vanished, and onto just excited I am.
I tried to stay up till midnight to get started, but having a 15 month old and Halloween I just couldn’t keep my eyes open by 11PM. I tossed and turned all night though, waking myself up thinking it was Saturday and I could hop out of bed and write until my son woke up or he was occupied with something. Then the reality that it was Friday set in. A whole day of work. Boring work. Work I don’t want to do at all. But that is a whole other post. Instead I am using the chance to kick off my blog. I made this blog ages ago. Then didn’t post. I re-formated it recently with a different template. Then didn’t post. I was again paralyzed by the power of perfection. I had to write a perfect post. A funny, amazing introduction that would skyrocket my readership with little effort. Because why not? Everything I have to say is amazing an insightful, right? I need to have that attitude, even if I’m faking it right now. Forget perfection. I can just write.
Write Write Write. Until I’m a little better than the day before.
My NaNo story is going to be tongue in cheek, futurastic, and fun. I will take some of my heart and put it in, but I also have this beautiful other world I want to live in too. And so, for a while at least, during NaNo, I will. I’m taking inspiration from Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde. Maybe even a bit of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Fleshing out the surroundings will be my biggest challenge. I need practice at descriptions instead of just thoughts and feelings. I’m going to make myself a list today of NaNo assignments. Each day will have a type of scene I want to focus on. Subject to change of course based on where I was going in the previous writing, or flow, etc. I also learned a big lesson this past week – I don’t have to write in order. Amazing! I’ve always tackled NaNo and story writing in a linear fashion. But I don’t have to. I can envision a scene at the start and then skip to a fight scene that will actually happen ages later. Because with the miracle of computers I can simply copy, paste, and move things around. I will be using Scrivener to keep myself in order. I’m excited to finish this year and be able to enjoy their NaNo discount too.
NaNo means way more to me this year than just writing a book. I’ve struggled most of my life with believing in myself and believing I can do whatever I want. But I can. If I want to write a book, goddamnit, I can. It will be work. It will be heartache. It will be time consuming and frustrating and hard. But, oh god, it’ll be worth it in the end.