Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo: The Magic Spell of a Deadline

Thanks to NaNoWriMo
for the widget and the opportunity
Struggling with my writer's block, for over a year, I have been longing for a way to overcome it. Therefore, when I learned about NaNoWriMo, a voice in my head whispered, "This is your chance. You must do it." And here I am, on the day 7, in just the beginning of my journey with almost 7900 words written so far and plenty of ideas about how my plot will develop.

Due to the fact that I had been looking forward to the challenge since the middle of October, I was anxious to begin, and during the first day alone I wrote over 2400 words, which is probably the most I've written so far of one novel in a day. It's amazing how magical a deadline is for me. For those who have no clue what NaNoWriMo is, I have to explain that it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the point of the challenge is to write a complete novel of 50 000 words or more in the month of November. The ones who manage to do it in a month or less will receive a certificate confirming that they have done it. It is really not a big deal. There is no reward, but for those who, like I, are stuck on page 27 of a novel constantly editing the same page over and over, the challenge is liberating. Whenever I have time, I sit down and write everything that comes to mind, and as I'm done for the day, the voice in my head whispers, "What you wrote sucks. You have to go back and edit it." But because I have a deadline, I tell the voice to shut up; otherwise I would never finish on time.

Surprisingly, the voice listens, and next time I start where I finished off, not in the least worried about whether the scenes are well-developed or not.

The truth is, if nothing is written, there is nothing to edit. It is especially true for those who are, like I, don't outline. You can't edit an unfinished story; you will worry about that when you have a manuscript - a completed one - in front of you. For now, just write. And as far as I'm concerned, I find this insane flow of inspiration in "just writing," and I feel like I'm finally breathing in life to the full capacity of my lungs.

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