It is impossible to be a regular reader of book and writing blogs and not hear about NaNoWriMo in November. My blog feeds have been filled with regular updates and word counts, so I feel like I have to give my reasons for not participating in this national event.
As I have talked about before I have a story idea brewing. I say brewing because it is still in the planning stages. Lots of planning going on here. And questions. Since there is history and time travel involved, two topics I have never really tackled before, I don’t want to rush through the writing and planning process just to get it done in a month. If I did that from where I stand now with my novel it would be gibberish and I would end up throwing most of it out anyway. This way I can write and throw things out at my own pace.
I have always been a page count kind of person as compared to a word count one. I also like to work on individual sections, scenes, and paragraphs, and make sure they are the way that I want them before moving on with writing. This doesn’t seem conducive to bulk writing, which would result (for me at least) in stress. I am working on cutting down stress and worry in my life right now -I am an excellent worrier, and although I work well with deadlines, just the thought of having a daily word count deadline with the way my life has been right now, and where my story is, makes me break out in a sweat. I feel the same way about reading. Writing never stresses me out. Even when I was putting together final portfolios for classes in college the physical writing process is very calming for me, which is probably why I like it so much. Even when I am writing academic papers (although that is more stressful than stories), once I figure out what I want to say, saying it is never that bad for me. I don’t want that to change – I don’t want writing to be stressful. That would take the fun out of it.
I have been thinking about and working on my story on my own time. There is the potential of an anti-hero which would make things exciting, and I still need to do some research, and make sure I don’t write myself into some sort of paradox with the time travel – it’s bound to happen. I am hoping at some point this weekend to sit down and work on some scenes, at least maybe get a beginning going.
I am not morally opposed to NaNoWriMo or anything – I don’t want people thinking that. I think it’s a really cool idea and a good way to get writing. I hadn’t heard about it until high school, and by that time my Novembers were filled with a mad rush of pre-vacation work, and trying to make it to Thanksgiving alive. Not a very conducive environment for creativity. NaNoWriMo is something that I would be interested in doing at some point in my life (I do consider myself to be a writer after all). Maybe even more than once. So some time in the future, when my life is more put together than it is at the moment (ie – not looking for a job), and I have a story idea that I have planned adequately in advance, I might make the leap and sign up for NaNoWriMo. In the meantime, happy writing!