Thursday, November 4, 2010

There are excuses and then there are reasons

Sometimes, when people tell me it's this month or that month, I wish I could retaliate with some well-prescribed barb, but mostly it is out of my own lack of watching or reading or embracing any sort of news. I don't know how long November has been "National Novel Writing Month" (I also just figured out how to say the acronym) but it seems like for the past couple years I'm re-reminded at the end of October. Thankfully, even people that both know I'm a writer and that November is what it is don't ask me if I'll be writing a novel. Not that I'd go so far as to tell them off, but it would avoid the slight mote of sadness that I won't be.

This year I have an excuse, though. I wrote a novel this year already. Actually, I wrote four. None of them took less than a month to pen, but they were all started after January 1st and drafted before now. I also sort of cheated. Because as I'm finding out with the new idea I'm working on, from the concept itself to actually putting words on a page somewhere has taken weeks if not months. It's much harder, I'm re-remembering, than simply putting ducks in a row, or even caring for and hatching each individual duck then arranging each linearly. It's more like thinking up the word duck, then physically creating what that thing is, then putting them in a row. My fantasy novel took years of musing; it was slow and off and on, and in the beginning I didn't even know that that is what I was doing, but it's clearer now. But even focused and conscious, this new story is a bear.

But, the whole point of things like NaNoWriMo is to create initiative where previously there was none. Tomorrow I'm going to finally wash my car. Next week, I'm finally going to visit that friend I said I would. Those are just examples of course (I mean, it's cold and wet outside). So, given how much progress I've made, and where I had wanted to get to this year, perhaps I will use all the energy in the air and make November my novel starting month. I mean, if I really, earnestly wanted to draft this entire thing, I probably could. However, it wouldn't be very good, or even mildly good. And I want it to be great. So, this is a fair compromise I think. So, basically, I have this week and next week because madness ensues towards the end of the month (which makes me wonder, do all these other writers pen their way even through the turkey day festivities and xmas shopping? so far as effort goes, isn't November only 3/4 of a month?).

And now for my monthly optimism. Ahem. Some of you may have noticed the comment (one of the very few) at the end of my last post. This person is not real. Clicking on the name will send one to a site to get help on taking standardized tests. And if that wasn't enough, there's the message itself. Given how enthused I was to actually receive a comment, it might have been more than a bit of a let down to know that it was not a person, but a robot, and not even a robot in need of a friend. Instead, I've chosen to hope that it means that the grand internet has found me, and decided that my site is a good place to ensnare travelers with his tarnished goods (you know, because the traffic is so high). I can almost smile.

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