I've always wanted to use that quote for a blog post, and NaNo seems like the perfect time.
Not that November is anywhere close to the perfect time for me to write 50K in 30 days. Not trying to make excuses, but November is a busy month for everyone in the Crescent City, when the temperature finally drops and hurricanes are a thing of summers past (okay, maybe not so much this year, if you've been watching Ida on the t.v.). Festivals abound with art markets, music, movies and mirliton. Fringe Festival is this week, too. Overhead projector shadow puppetry, anyone? Oh, right, and there's that little thing called Thanksgiving in a few weeks which will have me in a turkey-induced stupor until December.
Then there's the New Orleans Symphony Choir, for which I will be auditioning on Tuesday. I'm giving into peer pressure and giving up my Tuesday nights for Choir. I'm not even really a choir kind of person-- really more of a showtunes sort of gal-- but it's been far too long since I've had any sort of musical outlet. And it seems like all I do lately is go to work, come home, and write. It's a life, but it isn't living. And it's a life I've been "not living" for far too long. So, keep your fingers crossed for me.
Now we come to the crux of the problem... I've stalled on my NaNo project. Completely.
In my attempt to stifle my own creativity and work on character development, I've given myself no reason to care about the story. Just the characters.
And they're starting to get on my nerves.
Not the sort of people I should be spending most of my time with until December. I want to try to work around this boredom and figure out how to fix the story, but it just feels like for every step forward, I'm taking two steps back.
Turns out I'm not excited enough about Hans and Greta to keep moving forward at the pace NaNo demands. There's something missing from the story-- possibly people, since it's just Hans, Greta and the witch for the bulk of the story. It's completely boring me in a way no writing has ever bored me before.
Boredom. The NaNo kiss of death.
I finished my WiP at a breakneck speed that I thought I'd be able to keep up come November with a different project. But the emotional attachment I'd formed with Mara just isn't there with Hans and Greta. They're cold and aloof and not telling me what they're really thinking. Maybe Rachelle Gardner's timely post will help me...
I won't abandon them in the woods with the witch. We'll keep in touch this month, and maybe get to 35K words. I am still trying to keep some distance between myself and my WiP, so any time I'm feeling like I want to open that file this month, I'll open up my NaNo instead. But there are so many books to be read, for pleasure and to research for my WiP. Maybe I'll think of an idea for a new story-- for my next novel-- and start plotting.
So I'm not giving up on NaNo. I'm still going to be typing every day. I'm just not going to kill myself to force out nearly 2K words a day on a project that I'm not feeling passionate about. So I'm going to relax and not worry about word count. I'm not going to go back to my bad habits of over-editing, and I'm still going to focus on characterization, but since I already know I'm capable of writing 50K in 30 days, I don't have anything to prove.
And I know that forcing it is no way to find the passion I need to continue telling the story.
Anyone care to share their own NaNo experiences? And don't forget to enter Lisa and Laura's contest! See the link in my sidebar. There's another Kindle giveaway here. Good luck!
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.