Sunday, November 29, 2009

Best of Writing

At the end of last month, probably around the time I started blogging again, Brigette asked me if I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, with her. I foolishly agreed. I thought, "How hard can this be?" She told me I would need to write 1,600 words every day for the entire month of November, and I had wanted to participate in earlier years, but the month was always November, and November always meant an election. But not this year! Which is why I said yes.

After I sat on my bed to write on the second day, I wanted to give up. I told Grant I was going to quit, but I needed to figure out something to tell Brigette about why I couldn't do it. He talked me back into it, even after I told him how horrible the plot was (because it was non-existent) and how much I hated my characters because they were lacking in dimensions. He was right. If I wanted to write, I had to write.

That's what I've done this whole month. I sit on my bed, with my laptop on my lap, resting on Grant's pillow so I don't get too hot. Henry sits right beside me, ready to assist or nap, whichever is needed. I put in my headphones and play my writing music. (Thanks to the Avett Brothers, Radiohead, Patty Griffin, HEM, the Once soundtrack, my Christmas playlist, and, coming on stage for the first time tonight to see me hit 50K, the always loved Wilco. California Stars, indeed.)

There are parts of my book I still hate. I played around with perspective and voice at the beginning, and I haven't gone back to fix anything. I followed the suggested NaNoWriMo rules. Don't get more than a few days behind. Keep your inner editor and inner perfectionist locked up all month. No editing until December. Write, write, write, write, write x 10,000.

And I finished. I won. I have a first draft of a novel that's not quite complete, but it's more than I really thought I could do. I will finish the book, and I will edit it, and you might get to read it. Published, or not, I'm a novelist. I'm an author.