Monday, November 9, 2015

I'm a Believer

This is going to be one short post, because my weekend slipped by, and then suddenlty I remembered: I'm up on HoF for Monday!

Fortunately, I have a topic handy that ties in with writing fast: National Novel Writing Month.

I'm doing Nanowrimo for the first time ever this year.

I confess, I've always been a skeptic about this event. Being a quality over quantity person, I've never been much into punching out words just to punch out words. Moving too fast toward a number goal seemed to me a sure recipe for having to spend double time on revisions later.

And who knows? Maybe I'm right. Maybe it takes just as much time to mull and agonize over wording while you go along, as it would to just throw whatever comes to mind into the manuscript and then go back later and...well, mull and agonize again.

Still. This year felt like the right year for me to give it a try. I happen to be working on a short novel that seemed amenable to the 50k challenge. Even more tempting, I knew if I took the challenge and succeeded, I could very well have this manuscript done by December.

Now, a week into the dare, I have just over 11,000 words written. Not quite on target to meet the 50k challenge, but well within range to accomplish my own personal goal. Needless to say, this gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

But there's more to this, really, than numbers. Nanowrimo has given me something very much unexpected, and also very welcome. For the first time in a long time, all that matters right now is my story. In a way, I'm reliving the early days of crafting my first novel, when every spare minute was devoted to discovery and creating. I remember this feeling, and have thought of it often in recent years with nostalgia.

Once published, it seems, it's hard for an author to enjoy that pure focus that inspires the first novel. There's just so much else getting in the way. Editing, marketing, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, book signing... the list goes on and on; a veritable truckload of writing related things demand our attention, leaving us with very little time to, well, write.

No matter how far I get on my word count this month, I'm grateful to Nanowrimo for allowing me to sink back into that spark that is the creative moment; to wallow in it, even, for a full month while everything else (even Heroines of Fantasy!) goes on hold.

So yes, Nanowrimo, this skeptic has become a believer. I may be back again next year, and the next, in only to keep in touch with the writer I most like to be.

How about you? Are you doing Nanowrimo? And how do you keep the creative focus alive when all those other writerly responsibilities get in the way?

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