Inspiration Is For Amateurs

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to admit this publicly. But I am writing a novel. In a month.

A friend mentioned NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to me in October, and it was as if it was calling to me, like I didn't have a choice. The idea is that by writing 50,000 words in a month you are forced to just get on with it -- committing something to paper -- no matter how terrible it may be.

For someone like me who loves a deadline this seemed like the way to finally get over my fear of producing something crappy, as I just won't have time to even think about it. Waiting to get inspired was getting me absolutely nowhere closer to writing the story that's been bubbling up under the surface in my brain for years.

I am 15,710 words in now, and as I struggle away each day to just get something down, I often find it a fascinating process. I have no idea about how to write a novel, how to pace it, how many characters to make central, how to effectively alternate between points of view. Sometimes I really enjoy it and it seems to come naturally -- other times I just have to grit my teeth and power through. And then there are the horrible moments when I freeze up suddenly with the knowledge of just how incredibly bad it is. I console myself with the fact that I don't have to let anyone see it if I don't want to, which manages the anxiety a bit.

When I first told a few friends and the Hub that I wanted to do this they all said, "You don't need more stress!" But who does, really? Everyone seems stressed these days. And of course there's the whole body aspect of it. I haven't told Super Physio my plan to be even more sedentary for the month of November, typing on my laptop for many more hours each week than work requires.

But I'm not feeling stressed. Yet. And on the pain front, so far, so good. My one condition is that as soon as this starts making me feel stressed, causes me pain, or interferes with what is also a very busy month at work, that I'll have to be happy with whatever word count I've produced so far, and consider it an excellent start on a slower writing pace going forward.

So that's the deal. Wish me luck with the 21 days I have left in the challenge. And funny how writing a blog post seems so much easier at the moment. It's productive procrastination at its best.


  1. Very proud and impressed with your JFDI attitude . . . stick with it!

    1. Thanks Donna! The going got tough this last week, but I am going to get tough this weekend and JFDI to break the back of it... hopefully!


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