Monday, November 29, 2004

NaNo: Day Who the fuck cares because this shit is finally over

I am the proud owner of an unfinished but officially verified 50,000 word novel. This actually means a lot to me, as I somehow managed to cross that 50,000 word mark after giving up on this novel not once, but twice.

Seven days ago, I threw it away. I didn't think there was anything salvageable.

Then the part of me that knows better fought back, and I wrote 15,000 words in the last five days.

Like I said, the book isn't done yet, and probably won't be done until the end of December at the earliest, maybe the end of January if I have some trouble with it. I'm gonna try to stick with the daily writing, pushing out something between 1,000 and 1,500 words until I get to type the words "THE END". I've still got a few hurdles to overcome before I get there, but I think I'll make it.

It's been a lot of years since I sat down and spent any amount of time creating something this...unformed. I think a big part of why I was so tempted to give up was because I was scared, scared that I didn't know where the book was going, scared that I didn't know how to steer towards anything, scared that it all felt so out of control.

It's not fun feeling out of control.

But it's exhilerating. When the book went well, I felt a kind of excitement I haven't felt since the last time I wrote a novel by the seat of my pants. And what's surprising, is I don't think last year counts.

Last year I had too good an idea of where I was going. I may not have had an ending, but the middle -- the basic structure of the book -- was there before I started work on it. So it didn't feel like quite as pure a creative process as I went through this year.

No, what I'm reminded of this year was a book I wrote just out of high school called "The Voice of the Raven" -- great title, crappy book, and next to incomprehensible on its own, given that it was intended as part of some psychotic 10 part series.

But we're not talking quality here, are we? We're just talking about creativity, and how the massive random output I've had this month reminds me of a book I wrote twelve years ago, or so.

And how it reminds me of how many books I could have written in those intervening years.

And how it reminds of how fucking depressed that makes me feel.

2 comments:

Sheryl-Lynn said...

Ain't creativity scary? At least the kind that grabs you by the seat of the pants and flings you into the unknown.

D. R. Walker Moore said...

Hey Todd--Congratulations on gitten'er did. It takes a lot of perserverance, or should I say just plain old stubborness to finish the NaNo. I finished my own on the 28th with a big sigh of relief. But now that I look back on what I wrote, it's not a novel. It's just a very mechanical report of what happened. A complete rewrite or send to the shredder.
--Don