Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Heroines Don't Get To Quit

It's after ten, and I am only now opening my NaNo file. First, I had to make some art. Having one of those days over here, and it started last night, so things are bound to improve, but my goal in talking about writing in this blog, and the creative process in general, is to be honest. Lay it all out, the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it's all needed to make the end product.

We are now in the last official week of NaNo, and even though some days have a rocky start, each day does find my bottom in the chair and fingers on the keyboard. Normally, I'm beyond excited to get to a project like this, but here's something I've been struggling with whether or not to share. Every single day in this year's NaNo, I've wanted to quit. Every one. I see others zooming on by with higher word counts while my goal is re-teaching myself to produce a certain amount a day, weekends included, and so far, I've been successful. I've also been successful in learning that, for best results, I need to follow my process and come to exercises like NaNo and BISW with my story notebook ready for reference, having ample time to spend following my hero and heroine through the mist and then shaping things into a blorch, and then I'm good to go. Not better or worse than anybody else, but what works for me.

I have also learned that comparison to others is bad and best avoided. Anybody else's goal is not my goal, so if I'm doing what I set out to do, yay me. They're not writing my book, I'm not writing their book, and everybody's life is different. While it's true that at some point during every day this month, I've thought about quitting NaNo, I'm competitive. I need the bragging rights. I get a graphic badge if I finish? Allrighty, then. Lock and load. It's on, baby.

There may come a point in every NaNo writing day when I want to cash in my chips, say 'good enough, this is as far as I go' but writing isn't a matter of want to. It's a matter of have to. Trust me, I've tried not writing and it doesn't work. I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life. November is one month. One month. When I let Alec and Tamsen rest for at least December, there's still Angus and Summer who need my attention so they can get all sparkly shiny polished to go see agents. John and Aline who need their romance emphasized so the wake of the Black Plague doesn't overtake the love story. Last year's couple, Slate and Melanie, are quite insistent that they're ready for me to pay them some attention again, and I am excited for all of the above. Tired from heading into NaNo with insufficient-for-me ammunition, but hey, that's how we learn.

So, is there likely going to be some point in today's writing where toy with flipping over the metaphorical table, muttering an epithet and spending the rest of the day looking for graphic art resources and playing Sims 3? I'm counting on it. I'm also counting on hitting the magic number of words for the day, announcing "Done!" and collecting my Awesome Writer Chocolate Truffle that is reserved only for days that goals are made, and then sticking my nose in a good book.

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