November 16, 2009
Last Tuesday, I met with my book club. Caitlin asked me what I was up to, and I mentioned that I was writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. I told them about the concept and they asked me about my novel.
I told them that it was set in post apocalyptic San Francisco, but I was still figuring out the story.
sound of a record skipping
Why did I do that? I brushed past it and changed the topic. On the drive home I kept thinking about it. I was embarrassed that I was writing a story about zombies. But that wasn’t it; I wasn’t embarrassed by the zombies. I was embarrassed that I was writing toward a goal that was meaningless.
Two years ago, when I failed to complete the novel I was writing, it was because I didn’t know how to write it. I was so out of touch with my romantic side that I looked forward into the heart of the story and froze up. This year, as the beginning of November approached, I chose my topic because I knew it would not be challenging. It turns out that it was, but in a way I didn’t expect. It was challenging to even work on it because it felt hollow.
Driving home, I was fired up about just chucking what I had done and starting over completely. A day later, I realized that I was still thinking about it the wrong way. One of the reasons that NaNoWriMo is great is that it provides an external motivation for something that I really wish I’d do more of on my own. But in this case, it was an external crutch. I was focused on meeting that goal, but it was a completely arbitrary one. It’s not actually what I want to do.
Three years ago, after I had finished my first novel, I decided that the next year, I was going to write short stories instead of another novel. I never did it, but I should have, because I love short stories and I want to write them. So, that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of the month.
Three short stories in 15 days.
Then at least one each month for the next eleven months.
November 2, 2009
I’ve started NaNoWriMo again this year, for the first time in 2 years. I’m off to a fairly unimpressive start, with only 275 words written yesterday.
My stated plan is write a murder mystery slash political thriller set in a post-zombiepocalypse world. It should be awesome and/or gruesome.
You can follow my progress via this image: . At least, once it starts working, you can.