Monday, November 05, 2007

NaNoWriMo: The New Black

No time to stay, I have a novel to finish.

Yes people, I have a new addiction, but this one is just perfect, for several reasons.

Firstly, I have been sucked into a void over the past few weeks, one where deadlines and dates have ceased to have meaning, no-one has been cracking the whip in my direction, or indeed when they have it's not been cracked hard enough. No deadlines equals no progress or achievement. That's shockingly how this cookie crumbles.

Secondly, I am a writer. There is a passion within me that just needs to put down words. Half the time I strangle my own creativity by being a petulant and indulgent self editor. Take that away and I go free-form, Beat, take the story where the story takes me. Admittedly right now that does appear to be into romance (uggh!), but who cares? Life is romance: love, sex, infatuation, lust. There's also some stuff to do with birth and death, biological functionality that we still somehow manage to romanticise.

Thirdly, I am feeling a certain joy that I haven't experienced in quite some time. It comes from freedom of guilt. "I'm sorry, but I have a novel to write." What more reason do I need not to wash up / programme that web site / worry about my day job? None, I tell you - no further explanation is coming your way.

So, a writer who needs deadlines and a reason to write. The solution: NaNoWriMo, short for 'National Novel Writing Month'. The deadline is the 30th of November; the novel must be 50,000 words or more. There's nothing to be gained from this, no prizes, publishing deals or other incentive. It was exactly what I needed.

Champagne took what seemed like an eternity to finish, and I read back on it, hating certain paragraphs, loving others, but always thinking that had I taken six months instead of six years to write it, I doubt it would have been any better or worse. Admittedly the word count isn't double within the NaNoWriMo remit, but even so. In two days I have written 10,000 words. At that rate I could, theoretically, complete a novel the length of Champagne in twenty days. It would be terrible, as is the one I'm writing, but nonetheless possible.

I have obtained a state of acceptance about what I write: it might be rubbish, but it's my rubbish. At times it stinks, so hold your nose and walk away. Me? I'm stuck with it and I must dispose of it somehow. That's what it's about, this writing thing. As Allen Ginsberg said, "It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public". My writing, wherever it may roam, is the private made public, what we really think, who we really are, behind the shirts, ties, uniforms, careful hairstyles and cosmetics.

Thank the Lord for NaNoWriMo - for now I have remembered who I am and what this whole fight was for. Still, I have 39,950 words to write in 25 days, so I best sharpen my pen. There are swords out there who still believe in the old ways.

1 comment:

  1. "My writing, wherever it may roam, is the private made public, what we really think, who we really are, behind the shirts, ties, uniforms, careful hairstyles and cosmetics." <-- THIS.

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