I wanted to introduce you to the crazier side of me. I just signed up to write a novel in 30 days as part of National Novel Writing Month, a tongue-in cheek description of the event whose organizers do just this – inspire and organize tens of thousands of people to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (www.nanowrimo.org). I have no business doing this, of course. I have never written a stitch of fiction. I have no idea what I am doing. Or even what I am doing contemplating such an adventure. In case you are wondering, but not able or wanting to do the math in your head, this breaks down to roughly 1,667 words a day. I can certainly type this many a day in a reasonable time (approx 1 ½ hours, according to the handy and very funny guide to this adventure) – whether I can make these words tie together in some, at least half way coherent story, is beyond me. I don’t know. And if I sit, staring blankly at my computer for 1 ½ hours and then start typing, this ‘reasonable amount of time’ idea goes right out the window. But this is all the point. The founder – a hilarious guy whose witty writing makes me sure that I don’t have the creativity to pull this off – assures me, and everyone else submerged in self-doubt (and who isn’t at a point when you sign up to write a novel in 30 days), that we will all be amazed at ourselves and our abilities when we are given a golden tool…..a deadline. AND, probably the biggest point is that no great piece of art will be written in 30 days. A crappy rough draft of a great piece of art? Potentially. And otherwise, having written a crappy novel, for a writer, is still better than having written no novel at all. There is something so gratifying about checking something off that one may just be able to ride that wave and then write, or at least come up with the idea for the next novel, which will surely be the work of greatness. Or whatever.
Me and a deadline, that golden tool mentioned above, have a relationship something like this. I receive a deadline. I mark it on my calendar and file it away. I make half-hearted posed as full-hearted efforts at getting to work and keeping to a reasonable timeline. And then approximately 3 days before the deadline I realize I am woefully behind, I stress and kill myself to get it done. And it’s an absolute must that I stay up until the wee hours of the morning before it is due in order to finish. And then I finish on time and hand in an end-product that is always decent, sometimes pretty splendid. Oh how I hope I don’t do this to myself in this adventure. 50,000 words is a pretty painful last-minute jam.
My other point in telling you about this, and there is a point, is that I am not sure that I will be posting during this time period. I may place in a few one or two liners to let you know that I am still alive and that I have not dropped out. OR I may post more than ever because I will use the blog as an excuse to do all kinds of other non-novel writing. Either way, it will be an adventure, so I thought I would let you know about it.
Perhaps most importantly, if ANY part of you are jealous (listen for a tiny voice that is perhaps shouting from far, far away) and wants to go on this crazy journey with me, sign up. You can thank me later. And in the mean time we can meet in coffee shops and make passionate typing together….or commiserate via e-mail if you don’t live near me. Come on…you know you want to.