On Monday I found myself digging through old photos, contemplating large-scale scanning projects of old photographs and hey, while I’m at it, why not go through my grandmother’s boxes of slides and have them sent away to a scanning company, and, and…I eventually realised what was happening. My brain was trying to get out of NaNoWriMo, because it’s scary. My brain and I have had words, and I’ve made the task seem exciting with the aid of Really Big Pieces of Paper, which are on my wall and already covered in scrawl. Now that the day is finally here I’m quite enthusiastic 🙂 It’s a relief to be getting going.
This year I have two ambitions:
- Stop beating myself up over quality. I got to the end of last year’s novel and thought it was irredeemably bad. This impression stuck, and every time I tried to edit I’d become disillusioned. Having written a fair bit since I’ve found that anything can be fixed, no matter how dreadful it seems at the start. Hemingway said “the first draft of anything is shit”, which seems off-putting at first but is actually quite inspiring, I think.
- Edit it to the point that I let somebody else read it.
As with last year, I pledge to donate £500 to the Institute for Creation Research if I fail to complete 50,000 words by the end of November 30th. This could be fun, given that I (hopefully) have a job interview mid-month, and am away from any computers this weekend at least.
The widget in the sidebar should display my word-count at the end of each day, and links to a full progress report. The already impressive NaNoWriMo site has implemented some great features this year and does a good job of making the endeavour feel like a worthy project. Which it is.
Last year I bought myself an early Christmas present and had Lulu.com print up two bound copies of the novel. They’re sitting on my bookshelf atm, looking forlorn and unread. Maybe I’ll take another stab at it next year.
Update: The widget stubbornly refused to show my updated word count, and I was about to remove it this morning. I then discovered I’d forgotten to change the settings so it referenced my own account rather than the default. Ahem. Fixed now.