I’ve always wanted to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and one year I actually signed up for it. But I’ve never really done it. I’m not really sure why. I keep a running list of story and book ideas, so it’s not the case that I have nothing to write.
Part of the issue is that I have a hard time turning off my internal editor. As soon as I start writing, I feel compelled to stop and go re-work things. And it’s better to just write and then go back and fix things. I do that very well when I’m writing non-fiction, but I’ve never gotten the hang of doing it while writing fiction.
Another problem is just plain, old fear. It’s fear of not writing well. And I know full-well that one cannot write well if one never writes. Good writing comes from writing a lot of garbage and then mining it for the gold. “Mining” means building the skills of both writing and editing. Also, it’s the fear of having an obligation. “Fear” is the wrong word for it. There’s just something about having this obligation that makes me squirm and avoid doing the thing I want to do. Life is full of obligations and there are all sorts of things that I manage to do reasonably well with deadlines and oversight, but for some reason things like this are squicky to me.
Anyway, I’m not signing up for NaNoWriMo this year. It’s just not going to happen.
But here’s what I am going to try to do: write one story a week. Ish. My goal is to get four stories/essays drafted by the end of November.
I’ll try. I want to promise it, but I can’t. There’s a baby coming. And work is a very real thing.
But I’ll do my best.
The point here, I need to remind myself, is to simply write. It’s not a matter of writing WELL or producing anything really good. It’s just exercise. It’s about building the discipline to actually do the thing. No expectations. It’s just that I have to write.
So, there. Imma try this mini-NaNoWriMo. Here we go!