Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dear NaNoWriMo 2015

It's currently 12:27AM (according to my computer). Or it's 11:27, depending on time change (though my good friend told me time doesn't change until 2AM so technically I've legally begun).

Yet, I haven't written anything. No words. No thoughts. Nothing. Heck, I didn't even write the title or my name anywhere yet.

It's daunting, starting a novel. It's a task not easily accomplished. And for some reason, the excitement level to write this novel isn't high. Sure, I love my characters, I adore the story line, I drool over the world I've developed, but I'm not itching to write. I'm not itching to do anything (except maybe itch my kneecap from talking about itching).

So I feel like I've failed already. And I hate failure. Perfectionist that I am. I want to win. I want to batter through the skeptical beginnings, swoop through the middle, and run the home stretch full-force to stand atop the mountain of a manuscript, bloody, sweaty, but smiling fully. I want to hit 50K and the chapter of November 2015 with delight.

But I feel tired. I feel drained. And I'm worried I will fail. Already a half-hour of my time has been lost by this procrastination. Already, I feel the burden gaining heaviness upon my pen. Can I do it?

Between school, work, papers, projects, and many other things, I don't know if I can. I've done it in the past. But those years I've had a clear idea, a clear spark of what I wanted to write. How I wanted the story to unfold.

But for this story, I've got a handful of unknown characters and a tangled web of a plot holding it all together. It's thin; it's wobbly; it's stretched. It's hanging on by a thread of a though birthed long ago. The spark feels dull, faded, almost extinguished. How can I possibly write this novel? Or any the other dim thoughts in my brain? Where is the one thought jumping up and down in excitement and anticipation?

Since my brain feels like goo slathered across the floor, I want to start the novel in the morning. I'd like to think I could get up and write, hit a few hundred words before breakfast. But I've come to understand that is not how my process works. Nighttime feeds my creative juices. Half-asleep, I stumble through worlds, encountering creatures and characters. People tell me my writing is good--when it's a first draft, on the spot, struck with inspiration. I don't know how it works, but I'm counting on it helping me with this story.

I don't want to abandon it before I've begun. But I don't want to fail. My inner editor wants to claw its way through, to nitpick the beginning I've written in my mind. But then it will win and it'll come crawling through into my writing. So instead, I'm to push it back into the dark corners of my writing soul and I'm going to start with the first line of NaNoWriMo, the beginning:

"Arthur Benedict Williams was a very special boy."



  1. This post is spot-on. When twisted and directed toward the events in daily life, I feel the same way. I put things that I have to do ahead of personal fantasies, which should be done to an extent, because if we do this continually we'll start to lose the fire that pushes us forward. Your words of truth are beautifully written, and I know that the goal of writing a novel seems impossible at this moment. Imagine what an interesting tale could be born! Even if you don't complete it in the time constraints, the bones of your story will be assembled. I know you can do it!

    1. Thank you. This means a lot coming from you. :)

  2. You can do this! Starting NaNo is scary, but it'll be so worth it when you have a new completed draft. Push through!