Monday, November 09, 2009
NaNoWriMo (or What The H*ll Have I Signed Up For?)
Yep, it is that time of the year again. November is National Novel Writing Month, and some of the Playfriends are participating at various levels. Keep a watch on the sidebar to see our totals as they grow.
For myself, I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking when I signed up. I’ve been struggling at the computer for about 6 months now, the motivation to get words on the page having hightailed it into the darkness of the night. Motivation is a huge part of being a writer. We start writing because we are moved to create something outside ourselves from the voices and stories overrunning our brains. We get to the page every day because that same drive pushes us to do so. Even when our internal motivation runs low, we can still be driven by external motivators, like deadlines or requests. For myself, all of these have been singularly lacking in strength recently. I’m not sure if it is burnout or what, but the emptiness is still there.
Now, that is not to say that I haven’t been writing. That’s one of the wonderful things about being part of the romance writing community, is that opportunities for encouragement and motivation abound. Even without being published, there are contest deadlines, accountability groups, critique partners, and such. I joined a Novel Push Initiative challenge in October with my sister, where the goal was to write 250 words per day. Now, compared to the 2000 per day I must write for NaNo, that doesn’t seem like much. But it helped me return to some form of enthusiasm for my stories that had been lacking.
And the more time I spend with them, the more I remember why I wanted to do this. NaNo is an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in your story. To not come up for breath before diving into the next scene. You basically live in a tiny, one bedroom apartment with your characters for a month, listening to the story as it unfolds. It is aggravating, tiring, stressful… and inspirational. I’ll be completely sick of these people by December 1st, but I’ll know them inside out and be grateful for the journey.
Until I collapse from exhaustion. :)
Are any of you NaNo-ing? Have you ever had a project that both drained and uplifted you?
Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 11, for guest author Donna Alward.
And don't miss the Playground's 4th Birthday Extravaganza on Friday the 13th! There will be a big prize given out by the cabana boys!!!
Winners of the Not So Scary Halloween Contest Grand Prize winner are Chris Jones of Texas. Runner up prize goes to Laura McIntyre of Oregon. Tune in January 1st for our next contest in 2010.