Monday, October 25, 2010

never say never

About a year ago, I wrote a post about why I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo anymore. But two days ago, I went to the NaNoWriMo website and registered for this year.

Yep, I'm doin' it.

What changed my mind: My complaints haven't changed. I still think the obsessive attention to word count gives way to passive, wordy, and sloppy writing that makes the revision and editing process a pain. But I have not one, but two new novel ideas competing for my attention and my pen. I'm already close to 10,000 words into one of them, so I figured the other one would be worthy of the 50K marathon in 30 days. It's the one that's been consuming my thoughts during my two- and three-mile walks lately, the one that whispers character names and words in my ears while I'm teaching. I want to get it out on the page. And now that WILS is done, the time seems right.

Besides, it might even be fun.

Goin' solo again. Sort of. I'm on my own again, and although I'm happy about that, I confess that it'll feel strange to meet my daily word goals and not automatically send my pages to Sarah. I'll miss the instant feedback, the confidence (and reliance?) in her fixing my suckage, the mutual praise, constructive criticism, and mutual feedback. But NaNoWriMo is a group effort in some ways. The marathon metaphor is appropriate. For as we wend our way along the word-count road, fellow writers and friends stand on the sidelines and support us, clapping and offering us encouragement. Writing is a solitary act, but NaNoWriMo is a community event.

So, in one week, you'll like me find me at my laptop -- be it in my room or at the coffeeshop -- and you'll hear me mutter things like "2000 words behind, I gotta do 4000 today... oy, how am I gonna do it?" (or, in a more positive light, "woohoo--2000 words ahead!") You may hear occasional cursing, you may see a ragged expression on my face. Then again, you may see euphoria, and mistake it for mania.

At any rate, I'll be writing.

I encourage you to do the same. Or just stand on the sidelines and cheer me on.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

You GO, girl! (only on the internet could I pull that off with any semblance of grace). I'm thinking of doing it too. However, my fear of public failure is rather large. I'd need a neat, anonymous name to write under. Think "A. Sorkin' would be okay?

Anne R. Allen said...

"Writing is a solitary act, but NaNoWriMo is a community event." That's a great way of putting it. You seem like the perfect candidate, since you've had a novel gestating for a while.

I've just blogged 7 more reasons to go for it.

That's me cheering for you! Aaron Sorkin, er, Elspeth, too.

Elisa said...

Beth, I wouldn't worry about "public failure" -- you can make up a username (although A.Sorkin is *mine*, hahaha!!!)

Thanks for the cheering, Anne!

Elephant's Eye said...

Came here for the 31 October post on breast cancer??

Good luck with the novel!

Akseli Koskela said...

Hi Elisa, I've just stumbled upon your interesting blog!

I haven't heard of NaNoWriMo, but I think it sounds like a good idea. Sure wordcount is a stupid way to count your progress in a writing project but if it gets you sweating it out in front of your laptop all month then that sounds great!

Anne R. Allen said...

I hope you're happily NaNo-ing.

I just gave you a shout-out on my blog.

Elisa said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Anne!

Elephant Eye, I'm so sorry to disappoint you -- there was a mixup on my part and I didn't get the post done. Thank you for stopping by.

Akseli, thank you -- hope you return!

Heather said...

Hope the writing is coming along well...go have a brownie in a mug if it isn't, and all will seem better!

I've subscribed to your blog by RSS feed. I JUST figured out how to and why we should do that. See, never say never is right!

Elisa said...

Thanks, Heather -- brownie in a mug sounds like a fabulous idea right now!