I usually try and hide this time of year, and to tell you the truth, that still sounds like a pretty good idea. All of this eagerness and excitement for the month of November causes me to break out in a sweat and curdle things sloshing in the bottom of my stomach.
If only I had a rabbit hole handy.
November is National Novel Writing Month. I've been unable to decide if it was shortened to NaNoWriMo out of affection or derision.
The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It just happens that one of my busiest months of the year was chosen for the event. I'm pretty sure it was a man who selected November. Why not March?
People from all over the world sign up to encourage each other in this quest. There's competition and tracking.
And Good Golly, Miss Molly . . . I just signed up. What was I thinking?
Here's the thing . . . I need to learn how to control my Inner Editor. I need to learn to get the bones down without worrying about what they look like, or even if they're connected. I think adding 50,000 words to my current work-in-process can only be positive—even if I end up taking half of them out when I edit in December.
And here's a smart thing . . . I just got an email from NaNoWriMo with the subject: NaNoWriMo Loves Peg Brantley.
And this from the email: Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it's hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn't. Every book you've ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.
So maybe it is with affection.
I'll let you know.
CR: On Writing by Stephen King.
Working on: Adding words every day . . . not waiting for November.
It's all better with friends.