Tuesday, October 12, 2010
To NaNo or not to NaNo?
It's the middle of October, and November, National Novel Writing Month, is rapidly approaching. My email inbox has daily messages from the NaNoWriMo people. I have still not finished polishing up last year's novel, and I remember how obsessive I was about getting in so many words a day in a fever pitch of creativity heretofore never experienced. I may even have been even more impossible to live with than usual.
Am I really crazy enough to go for it again? I can't even imagine characters or a plot, but then at this time last year, I couldn't do that either. Then the characters began introducing themselves, and the story unfolded and the next thing I knew, it was November 30th and I had written more than 50,000 words and the first draft of The Lucy Redfish was finished. Even though I have not finished polishing it up or looked into getting it into print, I am proud of that book. If someone else had written it, I would download that book to my Kindle. The process of writing it was one of the most exciting things I have ever experienced. I really felt fully alive and engaged, the way I used to feel when I was young and connecting a paintbrush to a responsive canvas.
So do I give it another go or not? Do I fire up the creative juices and have at it again? I should ask Laura if she is up for my disappearing into the computer for a month again. Really, writing a novel in a month doesn't take all your time. You have to get in an average of 1700 words a day. I actually got ahead on my word count after a very short while. Once you get into the rhythm of it, those 1700 words roll out in a couple of hours and the rest of your time is your own. Except for the obsession. Except that your whole mind is wrapped around this process and you find you are even writing in your sleep. Except that you eat, drink, breathe and live your novel for that entire month. And who can stop at 1700 words?
Except for that.
So I am still sitting on the fence about this one. I feel a little guilty turning my attention to a new book and leaving Lucy incomplete and abandoned, like a stepchild after the new baby has arrived. Who knows, if I give her a little sister, maybe I will roll my enthusiasm over to doing the finishing touches on Lucy herself. Or maybe I could do that now and not feel guilty if I start another book.
Then there is the discipline of having to write every day, which is very, very good for me.
To NaNo or not to NaNo: that is the question. But NaNoWriMo is so much fun...
photo credit: NaNoWriMo