Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greetings From the Middle

Well it has been awhile since I have been able to write a post on this blog.  It seems my free time has been limited, and whatever I do have, is taken by actually, you know, writing.

We are more than half-way through the month, which means I am now starting to look at my progress and worrying about:

  1. Whether I am going to hit the 50,000 word goal (currently at 32,762);
  2. Whether everything I've written is complete crap (answer: yes, probably); and
  3. What comes next (can I actually keep writing this story to the end and get through the process of editing it enough so that it is readable?).

I first heard about NaNoWriMo on twitter.  Some authors and book bloggers were talking about whether they were participating, and the pros and cons of the theory behind it.  The cons seemed to argue it was an artificial way to write a book- that you can't just force writing.  The pros argue it is freeing.  I tend to agree with both sides.  If you are just writing words (quantity not quality) then are you really accomplishing anything?  On the other hand, giving yourself the freedom to just write, not edit or worry too much about content, but just spend a few hours every day writing whatever you want, well it can be a catalyst for something great.  I know this because I stare at the list of authors and books I have read who got their start by taking the NaNoWriMo challenge.  I think they must have had the very same thoughts I've had, or any amateur writer has, and yet look what they accomplished.

I have found this process interesting, and for the most part, fun.  At the beginning, like most people, I was so excited about starting that I didn't really over-think things much.  I didn't bother with an outline (probably- definitely- a mistake), I didn't spend much time getting to know my characters (I meant to, but the November 1st date just really snuck up on me) and I didn't really know how my story was going to end (or really what was going to happen in the middle).  Like that matters, right?  

With all those things missing it is no surprise I am now having problems continuing (hence my procrastination writing this blog post).  However, in the spirit of NaNo, I am not going to really worry too much about how I need to develop my characters more, or that my story needs to definitely be tightened.  Instead, I will just continue trying to meet my daily word count goal (I missed the last two days and it is killing me) and comfort myself in knowing that once December rolls around I will be able to go back and worry about quality over quantity.

I am still determined to "win" this thing!  It just means I now have to write about 1,724 words a day for the next ten days.  No problem, right?

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