Don’t you just hate it when the planets align to deliver a celestial message to you, which you didn’t ask for or needed? Well, I do. The Universe has a funny sense of humor.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Hello followers and fans of Jenny Hansen! Can’t blame you for loving her; she is pretty cool. But she won’t entertain you today, I will; in yet another Life List Club blog hop.
You probably saw Jenny’s pictures post-ROW80 party yesterday, right? She looked so exciting, bless her. Well, just like ROW80 is all about the goals, so is… yes, NaNoWriMo. I know I’m not supposed to babble on about it endlessly, but I cannot hold in my excitement for long periods of time. Or short ones.
It’s one of those things you can’t keep in check. It’s unbridled enthusiasm.
So you know that Universal message I mentioned before? It came from several directions. It came in the form of an episode of Being Erica and a psychic secretary who aspired to be a novelist. It came in the form of a writing competition and a sleuth of NaNoWriMo fans, who are already gearing up for the marathon. And it came in the form of a tiny voice inside my head, a nauseatingly familiar one:
You can’t do it. You’ll suck so bad. Better give up before you go down.
Which basically translates to: You are going to fail.
And that’s where I draw the line. I draw it at defeat. I am sometimes inconsistent true, but haven’t I won NaNo for two years in a row? Haven’t I finished at least one first draft and outlined at least two others? Haven’t I learned to write a little every day, even if it was just a stray article or blog or poem?
That’s the thing though. For a while now, I haven’t been writing my WIP’s. My sci-fi is going stale, the MC screaming bloody murder. Rya’s story, which I put on my Life List, is on hold until I get my shit together with managing multiple blogs and twitter accounts. And the very first novel, the One that started this whole writing journey, is ready and buried.
I’m wondering if this is normal. A large part of me says it’s not.
A normal person would ask why I’m not doing what I want: to write. A sane person would set a time to write and follow through every day. A smart person would know how to keep themselves motivated. Right? But I am not those people. I am me. Insecure little me.
I know I can do a lot with my life. I know I have some great ideas in that random brain of mine. And somehow, this is not enough. So today I make a mental note, set a goal if you will, to make it through NaNoWriMo with a finished first draft. Because I’ll let you in on my dirty secret: the last times I won, I didn’t finish the books. Chris Baty didn’t say ‘in one month, you must finish a novel’, he said ‘in one month, you must write 50K’, which is not even the size of a finished novel.
And I didn’t finish because I had no decent outline and no clear end in mind.
This year I’m determined to have a completed first draft at the end.
And it took that one episode of Being Erica (it’s great and Canadian) to make me realize that I’ve been putting my passion on hold. You know… that thing I constantly talk about, think about, blog about… I don’t do it enough. Not in a way that matters anyhow. And it took a sleuth of WriMos to make me realize that writing can also be fun, pressure-free. Especially if you share it with other writers!
So I will shut out the mean little voice and follow the Universal cues. And if I have to, I’ll write more than 50K to get there. Hell, I’ll write 500K if I must!
I’ll do whatever it takes to finish my NaNoWriMo novel this year.
Have you ever left a story unfinished? What stopped you? What would it take to finish it?
Lyn Midnight writes in various genres and formats (fantasy, scifi, poetry), and likes to blog about anything her heart desires over at Lyn Midnight Against the Odds. She is currently working on a sci-fi novel and managing another blog – WriMos FTW! – where she invites fellow WriMos to guest-blog and spread the madness. The person behind the handle is a Psychology graduate and eternal nomad, trying to make her big break somewhere in England. Long live the Queen! And long live our dreams.