Keeping Morale Up During NaNoWriMo

13 11 2014

I hadn’t tried to work on NaNaWriMo, because my self-esteem isn’t great enough to handle anything resembling a competition. I know the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to kickstart your own work and keep a steady pace, and it is barely even a competition with yourself. Yet the reluctance was there.

This year, I started work on a novel in October, so by coincidence here I am in NaNoWriMo like it or not.

I decided to write the first draft long hand. Working that way for the first six chapters of “Flesh Sutra” felt comfortable. It got me back in touch with writing when I was in high school, when I wrote for pure enthusiasm and without my brain demanding I win acclaim for my effort.

So. I became discouraged with my output. I’m a 50+ year old man working on my feet all day. A few hundred words here and there for the last two weeks.

Gathered the pages together and arranged them in a binder. Lo and behold! 18,000 words?! Not counting the first chapter written in October! I estimate I’m 2/5ths through, maybe 3/5ths! A flush of pride and accomplishment!

My characters went off the track and discovered: an underground railroad for paranormal insurgents; a society desperate to ignore said paranormal in the rush to rebuild from its onslaught; the ingenious location of a paranormal spy; a theme reflecting our current cultural struggles.

Writing is a way to explore the uncomfortable. This story is helping me hash out our current mess in speculative fiction and society.

One side has dolts whose hearts are in the right, but has very few actual thinkers.

The other has good thinkers with practical opinions and observations. It also contains (to me) a stunning lack of self-insight.

Both sides have reflexive, simplistic dogmatists.

The best symbolism is accidental. Whatever comes out of the writing, it’s best that I’m surprised.

Meanwhile, have you visited http://theunjaydedbook.wordpress.com/ ? A nice guy and a good writer.


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15 11 2014
Elsa Holland

Reblogged this on The Writers Room.

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