It’s that time of year again.

You may be looking forward to it or you may fear it but it is coming.  Like it or not.  Plot or pants [really, who the hell came up with pants?]

What? You thought I meant Christmas or Halloween?  Nah, it is the NaNoWriMo crap.  And yeah, I call it crap.  So there.  Why is because of the speed at which I do drafts.  NaNoWriMo’s goal would actually slow me down.  The Rah Rah party attitude is more annoying than not.  Their “The world needs your novel.” is a big fat lie. The world does NOT need your novel. Hell, the reality is the world doesn’t care about it and you may have to do a lot of convincing to get someone to read it.  See James Lee Burke’s interview  because the Lost Get Back Boogie received 111 rejections and was under submission for nine years [and that book got a Pulitzer Prize nomination].   AND if you publish, you may have to work your arse off to market it because even if you have a publisher, you are probably going in as a midlister and they waste their money on the Stephen Kings and James Lee Burkes not the Sally Mae Smiths.

No, I do NOT understand why everyone doesn’t win NaNoWriMo.  Yes, I’m unsympathetic.  It’s one of two things, either you don’t want to write or you are so lost, you have no clue how to write.  Sometimes shit does happen.  That’s life but as one famous writer said,

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

I’ll let you google to see who it was.  The research will do you good.

That’s what writers do.  And they edit.  If you haven’t noticed, they edit.  A LOT.   I will fully admit there are people who can set out a fairly clean book without a blink.  I’m not one of them but I’m still learning.   You write.  You edit.  We have had this chorus before haven’t we.  I need some Greek Tragedy masks for this part.

They are simply stubborn people who write their asses off. Dying?  Finish that paragraph before you gasp out that last breath.

Lets face it.  The reality of NaNoWriMo is not writing.  It’s one big freakin’ party.  But the reality of writing is, even if you have a cheer squad on your ass [I had two Alphas whose only job was yelling “When do I get the next chapter?”], you do it alone.  By yourself.  At your desk, writing pad or whatever.  Anything else is manufactured by NaNoWriMo.  Writing is not one big party.  Writing is “I am going away to write.” and turning off the internet.  So the only thing left is you and the ticking of the clock and the clacking of the keys on a cheap keyboard [note to self.  buy new keyboard.]

At the end of the day, or the month, it is you and what you clacked out [I really need to buy a good keyboard.  I spilled coffee in the other one.]  And if it is good enough AFTER you edit the damn thing, maybe your reader will like it.  Or you can choose to be the NaNoWriMo participant who wonders why no one reads your books [including your own family who you have to bribe, threaten or beg to see the book] or the poor little dumb soul who says “I don’t know why no one is buying my book” and when someone looks they see the first chapter is 34 pages of rambling mess that has nothing to do with a plot and frankly, your characters are as boring as the guy sitting next to you on the bus who makes shades of beige look lively.

Writing requires work.  It is NOT a big party.  It is not a grand ole time where all of you have a great deal of fun and then suddenly you have a best seller.  It’s a pain in the arse.  It takes time and I’ve discovered this year, it takes money.

I’ve done about 10 classes this year [only 20 bucks because of my RWA membership which set me back 95 bucks for the year].  I have one I am paying for in Nov. so far.  It’s about suspense in writing.   I have one I am doing for free that is online now through a University about fiction writing.  I’m still trying to see the redeeming quality of that one.  Free might be just what it is worth.  Who are these writers they chose to speak and what are they rambling about [and they do ramble…]   I’m taking a class on Forensics again through University.  I’m getting a lot more out of that.  I am moderating a class on editing in Nov [again 20 bucks thanks to the RWA membership]  And there is more to come.  Welcome to the reality of writing.  The result?  I’m getting better.  I’m a lot better than that first time I sat down in July.  I didn’t realize how much I forgot about writing in 38 years.

Writing ain’t a thing like NaNoWriMo.  Is NaNoWriMo handy?  Yeah.  If I want to focus on a draft and get discounts, I can’t beat it.   I go for the discounts.  So if I am not hopping up and down and cheering?  Excuse me.

Do I think you should do it?  If you have never written before?  And you really think you can?  Yes.   You will find out quickly if you really want to  write.  You will also find out if you can write.  I don’t mean that from an edit standpoint.  I mean there is a heck of a lot more to this stuff than sitting down and pounding out a 34 page chapter of rambling.  Any fool can ramble for 34 pages.   You will also discover your fears.  Sometimes that is all that keeps a perfectly good writer from writing.   Why didn’t I do a fiction book before?  Because my inner editor wouldn’t shut up.   With the deadline for the Camp that summer, I had to negotiate with the bitch [mine is a female.  She looks a hell of a lot like my mother who was the Redhead from Hell.]  She shut up.  I wrote.  I haven’t stopped and she doesn’t even make a peep anymore.  I think she figures the suffering and cursing I do while editing is more than enough payment for her silence.

NaNoWriMo will get your fears out in front of you.  And you will do one of two things, you will fade away and vanish from the site [and maybe show up again next time with the “life got in the way” excuse and “This time I’ll do it” tap dance only to do the same damn thing again {Give it up already} or just never come back]

Rarely, you’ll get real, face your fears and actually pound out that book.  And that is what a writer is.

There be freebies all over the place to “help you write” for NaNoWriMo.  Flat out the only thing you need is a piece of paper or a pencil.  And you write.    If you need to know how fast, have a calendar.

The one thing to remember, no matter what you decide, it is okay.  If you find you really aren’t a writer, that’s fine.   It’s okay to be what you are.  Life is finding out what you are and what you aren’t.   And if you are a writer?  Put your arse in that chair and type/write.

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