This year’s installment of NaNoWriMo marks the first time in ten years where I haven’t had a clue as to what to write.
It’s not that I don’t have plenty of things to write about or to work on. I’ve been puzzling over the latest (and hopefully LAST) edits for Virtually Yours Forever. I have another YA novel that is completed but needs an edit (and edit and edit). I have no less than five manuscripts in various stages of disrepair, from 20K to 70K words. Most of those I started in November, for NaNoWriMo, but had abandoned because of some crisis or another in my life. (Crisis is a terrible excuse, I’ll try not to use it anymore.)
I’m usually a “pantser” anyway; I can’t stand the constraints of plotting, especially with new work. I want to follow the wind, be able to change my mind at a moment’s notice. Outlines *shiver* make me want to hide under an assortment of covers. Don’t get me wrong. I envy those who can whip up an outline and a synopsis before they begin writing. That is a skill I could use. I’m sure it’s a right brain function, and I’m left brain all the way.
This is not to say that I don’t have any ideas. I have ideas up the wazoo. I just don’t have the motivation or the time to place butt in seat and begin typing. The entire purpose of NaNoWriMo is to write as fast and as much as you can for 30 days. Doing so instills a work habit that writers need – write a little every day.
Actually, pleading the case that you “don’t have time” is a bad excuse too. I used to write while working. It wasn’t my best writing, but I got it done between phone calls, payroll, and irate customers.
Come to think of it, NaNoWriMo is a total excuse breaker! If you can’t pump out 50K words in a month (which don’t have to be perfect, don’t have to be complete, don’t have to have a character arc or a theme), you might as well turn in your notebook and pencil and start a new career as a street sweeper.
So tomorrow, I’m going to start with a clean slate, a new file, and a small, purse-sized notebook and fresh pencil and write like hell for 30 days. I might be writing blind, but hey, Helen Keller was blind. If she could feel her way around a story, so can I.