So… NaNoWriMo didn’t go so well… For me anyway. Maybe three months of planning wasn’t enough. Maybe I thought I could write a novel while also writing three papers at a time for school (can I include those in my word count?). Maybe I’m just awful at time management. Yeah, I think it’s more that last one.
I had a great idea for a novel. So great that I changed it twice now and am working on a third beginning. Yep, great idea alright.
Because I consider myself a writer, and because that’s what I want to do with my life, this awful (albeit better than last year) attempt at penning a 50,000-word piece of art is despicable. And that brings out my other problem: I can’t get rid of my inner critic. I talked to people who wrote several thousand words at a time, but confessed that it was complete and utter rubbish and they would be spending so much time revising it wasn’t even funny. I can’t do that. I need a strong manuscript with nominal revisions. I don’t want to go reworking my entire novel, in essence writing a whole new story. The more sold I can get it the first time around, the better I’ll feel at the end.
During the writing process is a different story.
Writer’s block is common practice– I can’t get past that awful section I just wrote, I have no clue how to connect two ideas, I can’t think of a suitable word or name for a character… All things that have given me pause in my writing. I often just give up at that point, thinking a break will help me clear my thoughts and find what I need to keep writing. It never works.
This year, there was one more downer than just not finishing my novel. I introduced my boyfriend to NaNoWriMo, and he decided to give it a try as well. And he made it into the winners’ circle. Talk about a slap in the face… While I don’t hold it against him, and I’m not mad at him for being as awesome as he is, it still makes me feel about a centimeter tall. He’s written something that, while not without need for revision, is a great starting point. And he’s talking about publishing down the road. He’s got the finish line in sight, and I’m still spinning my wheels at the starting line. So much for me being the writer in the pair.
But I can’t let all this stop me. God, I’d hate myself if I did that… I guess I just have to hop back on the writing roller coaster and get over it. But now the critical question: should I just start right now working on the novel and finish it in my own time, or plan the hell out of it so there is no failing when it November comes back around? Decisions, decisions….