I am doing a crazy thing, participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. But I realized enough was enough, and I wasn’t going to sit on this idea for another minute. Twelve years has already been entirely too long.
The first few days were brilliant. I loved some of what I wrote. In fact, I loved a lot of what I wrote. I’m experimenting a little with form on this novel. At this point, I plan to tell the main action alternately with flashbacks. It lends itself very well to NaNoWriMo. I can write the flashbacks, then the main action, and then integrate the flashbacks where they need to go. This is also giving me a chance to stay in one character’s head for a longer amount of time, to write all the flashbacks, helping me to keep the voice consistent and unique. I was enjoying it. Until today.
Today, I hate NaNoWriMo. I hate most of what I wrote today. I don’t know if any of it will make it into a final draft of any sort. There’s one flashback that I just started rewriting right off the bat. I had a couple paragraphs down, changed course, and kept writing, started over without even bothering to delete. And you know what? I’m counting all those words because 1) I wrote them, and I grasp onto every precious word during the month of November, and 2) who knows? Maybe something that seems junky today will actually end up being of value tomorrow.
No matter how much I hate what I wrote today, the important part is that I WROTE. I spent too many years ignoring what’s inside of me to waste any more time.
Editing and polishing are for another day. NaNoWriMo doesn’t include built-in time for revision. That happens later. Much later. The point now is to GET IT DOWN. In all its roughness and terribleness and embarrassing-ness, get it down. Move forward. And by the end of the month, I may not have a complete draft, but I’ll have far too much of one to give up on.
I might or might not be ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow might be worse than today.
But not really. Because not writing is worst of all.