Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 1

I sat my butt in the chair this morning and pounded out 1,999 words in a little less than two hours. Not bad. I have plenty of time to do more, but I'm debating whether or not I should keep going. Part of me feels a need to pace myself, to go slow and steady so as to finish the race rather than bolting out of the starting gate only to collapse in a few days from exhaustion. I'm going for the marathon, not the sprint. The goal is to reach the finish line this time.

Problem is, I'm having a really hard time with the NaNoWriMo writer's Golden Rule: Thou Shalt Not Use Thy Internal Editor. I just can't help it because I know what I'm writing is so very bad. I can't stop from wincing with the stuff that's going down, pausing often to reflect on how terrible it all is and how I've already - in only 2,000 words - got plot holes and inconsistencies and flat characters and stiff dialogue. I landed on one of my undeveloped story ideas because I figured if I completely mucked it up, I wouldn't mind so much. I was wrong because every misstep is killing me already.

I know. I know. The goal here isn't perfection. I can shoot for that at another time.

I've thought about printing out the mantra "It's OK to suck" and taping it to the top of my laptop. Or maybe I should go with something stronger, such as "You MUST suck! It is your job to write junk!!" Anything to keep reminding me that I'm not supposed to worry about how bad it all is.

On a more pleasant note, I just got word from a good friend that she has a book contract. I'm so very happy for her. She's a wonderful writer with a Jennifer Crusie-like sense of humor, and I have no doubt she'll do very well. Too, she's the closest real friend I have who's actually succeeded in writing, so I'm getting some vicarious thrills through her.

I do admit to a tiny twinge in the heart when I read her "I've signed a book contract" e-mail. She and I started writing at about the same time, although she has a history of writing screenplays so therefore a bit more experience. We met via the same fanfic fandom where we competed for the Best New Author award against each other. She won - and she deserved it. Just as she deserves this contract. Because she did what I haven't managed to do.

She finished!

Last year I challenged her to the NaNoWriMo competition. She picked up the gauntlet and made it through the month, coming out a winner at the other end. I did not. So I have no one to blame but me.

I'm happy for her and am hoping that her success inspires me. And I'm also hoping she'll send me a signed copy of her book when it comes out because I can honestly say I knew her when.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to go with the sucky flow.

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