Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My broken commitment to NaNoWriMo

It's only day nine of National Novel Writing Month and I am ready to throw in the towel. Truth be told I didn't even make it out of the gate. On day one I had a false start and wrote a mere 600 words. I lied to myself and said it was because I was sick and didn't feel inspired. Then I spent the next few days staring at a cold, blank computer screen wondering just where the hell my story had disappeared to and how I could find it and fast.

Oh, I've written words every day for the last nine in long hand - short stories and journaling and grocery and to do lists. There've been thousands of words jotted down, just nothing concrete that actually counted for this blasted contest I committed myself to for a freakin' month of my life. A month I will never get back!

It's laughable how much time I spent outlining and doing character sketches in preparation for this month. I'd determined this year would be my year of overcoming my phobia of commitment to one specific project. This time I'd see one great project to completion. I would fish and not cut bait. HA.

Then yesterday I spent the good part of an hour on the phone with a wonderful editor who'd been kind enough to read and evaluate a manuscript of mine. A manuscript, oddly enough, that I had initially penned a few years ago for NaNoWriMo.

We discussed the fact that it was probably my sixth attempt at a manuscript and that this one was still an early draft at best.

"You have a lot of imagination," my editor told me. "You can't teach imagination....There's a lot of good work here, but..."

Ah, the dreaded BUT. This but had to do with a need for revision. I had wanted to call the project done, yet it's still a long way from THE END.

Creation doesn't seem to be my problem. It's the follow through. It's a commitment to my craft. To create the best stories I can and then move on. Most of my stories are abandoned before they even really have the chance to see the light of day.

So, what to do? NaNoWriMo is a month for novels. So, why can't it be my National Novel Revision Month - NaNoReMo? I can make a commitment to craft at least for the next few weeks. Can't I?

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