Thursday, November 15, 2007

NaNo Update

November is National Novel Writer’s Month and the challenge of this event is to put pen to paper and write a novel of 50,000 words (or more)…in thirty day period (gulp).

The gauntlet has been tossed and the challenge has begun. I used to think of myself as organized, able and willing to rise to any do-able challenge. Yes, I am one of those who see the goblet as half full. There is still time to complete the task at hand. Hope springs eternal. Chin up. Captain, I’m giving it all she’s got!

I am the card carrying president of Procrastinators Anonymous. It takes precious little to distract me into a tangent of going in exactly the opposite direction of whatever I am supposed to be doing. I also firmly believe I am very likely ADD and OCD and a plethora of other alphabet acronyms that I do not have the attention span to remember.

I am an idiot. I must have been insane, not only to agree to this , but to actually tell people about it. Please, take my advice; do not EVER, under any circumstances, say this out loud to anyone. Do NOT tell anyone you have committed yourself to this or you, too, will suffer the curse. Everyone you know that you have mistakenly told your plans to step up to this challenge will call, at least six times each, the first couple of days. “How’s it going?” “How far have you gotten?” “Do you think you’re going to make it?” Loved ones, well meaning as they might be, tend to hover, reading over your shoulder as you type away. “….Mom, I missed the last chapter, scroll up so I can catch up, ‘k?” Everyone walking by or driving by your house—or anywhere within a three mile radius will feel the need to drop in and “catch up”. People you have lost touch with and have not spoken to for ten years will literally choose this time to call and catch up.

Well, in spite of it all, I have managed to write 30,000 words of my novel and still have two weeks to go. I may just make it Betwixt and between the interruptions and my overly compulsive idiosyncrasies to go back and change something that bothered me that isn’t quite right yet Granted, there is still a lot that is going to need re-writing and editing once this is over, but sometimes the need to fix something just doesn’t stop screaming until I go back and fix it. Yes, even the crummy chapter I deleted and re-wrote now… .

I have mixed feelings about this experience. I think my tendencies to go back to change something is making this harder on me, but, I have to admit, this is keeping me focused on the book and definitely moving forward. I still think when you worry about the word count you sacrifice some of the quality for quantity. Just how much, though…? That is the question that will be answered when I begin the editing and re-write process. The other side of the coin is, I am amazed at how focused I have been and most of what I have written is a viable part of the story I am telling. Wow. I am reminded of the saying: "Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon!" Stay focused. Keep writing. May your Muse be with you.


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