janegraddell: (Default)
[personal profile] janegraddell
As a few of you may know, I decided to do the National Novel Writing Month this year. The results so far:



This is actually kind of a big deal for me. When I decided to do this, I was determined not to pre-emptively psych myself out by reflecting on the fact that I have never in my life finished a piece of fiction to a deadline, ever. All the same, I couldn't help but harbor some misgivings about my ability to put the fingers to the keyboard after four years of being unable to finish a single darn story.

Over the last four years (which is also, not coincidentally, the age of my daughter), I've tried to meet WIP pledges, Fuh-Q Fests, challenges, and zine deadlines. So, I thought I'd try NaNoWriMo. After all, what's one more blown deadline? But so far, I think this deadline is actually working.

I feel the urgency of the deadline on about the same level as I felt deadlines for papers in school. There's very much a "Okay, this must be done, so just do it," impulse, which is very good, but at the same time I don't feel the level of guilt I've always felt at not meeting self-imposed deadlines. I think I always felt, even if the deadline was set by someone else for their challenge or zine or whatever, that it was still all on me whether or not I finished.

I don't know why this is different. Logic suggests that it's because so many people I know are doing the same thing, and it gives me a big boost when I see that all my friends are writing, too. Maybe it's the communal feeling of "We're all in this together," or something.

Or, it could be the fact that I don't have the luxury of editing. My normal writing method is to write from beginning to end, and edit, edit, edit the crap out of it as I go. I've never just whipped out a rough draft like this, writing the first turns of phrase that occur to me and then leaving them be. I find that I'm really enjoying that part.

Some of this, I think, has to do with the fact that my entire lifestyle has changed since Boo came along. I no longer have those full days of uninterrupted writing, when I could buckle down and write for hours or even days on end. Now it's more having an hour to write, and I think learning to switch off the editor is an important skill for me to learn. After all, I *love* editing, so it's not really going to be a hardship to go back and re-write.

In any case, it's been a very good experience so far, and even if my enthusiasm goes to crap in the next couple of week I think I'll have learned something. That's all good. :)
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janegraddell

December 2006

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