Well, it’s that time again: I said I’d participate in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog posting (first Wednesday of every month), so here I am. Post #4.
Sadly, I haven’t really got anything to say. Or much to say. (For me, same thing.)
Which is weird, as I am a writer, and have always considered myself to be one, ever since I was a wee lass and could hold some sort of instrument of
torture. Erm, writing. In fact, because I considered myself to be a writer, I had a difficult time considering myself to be an artist and to do my painting, drawing, etc.
Well, I did and I didn’t.
I wrote 179 words on that particular day, and I haven’t written anything since. Partially because November has been a particularly horrid month for me, health-wise (a topic for another post). Partially because…. who knows. Fear is definitely one of the things… specifically, fear of failure. (Self-fulfilling prophecy? I’m afraid to fail, so I do?) What got me was the email from #NaNo that said that only 17% of participants “won” (aka wrote 50,000 words). (PS It might be more or less than that; I can’t seem to find the email with the exact amount.)
Of my thirteen #NaNo writing buddies, only four actually succeeded in breaking 50,000 words: AJ Aalto, Leona Bushman, Robert Pruneda, and Jessica McHugh (who wrote 81,660 words on her novel, The Hares in the Hedgerow!). Woo-hoo to them!
The other nine wrote a total of 134,218 words. Which is pretty impressive, if you think about it. That’s more words than those writers had before November.
Do I beat myself up about not succeeding, not winning?
Of course I do.
Even tho my pal Gareth S. Young tells me that’s not what #NaNo is for. That I’m not to beat myself up. That I started a story, and I have a good idea, and it’s not like I can’t write it in the future. Or, like, today.
In the most recent email from #NaNo’s executive director, Grant Faulkner, titled “Your story has just begun.”, he writes:
Sometimes an illness or the demands of life can sidetrack a creative endeavor. Sometimes a story just isn’t quite ready to be written. But don’t despair. A novel travels the same labyrinthian and nettlesome path that its main characters do—overcoming setbacks, facing down gnarly antagonists, and then moving forward toward the light. You built a cocoon for your novel this November. A butterfly will emerge.
So I urge you to keep your creative fires burning…
So, that’s what I urge the rest of you to do as well. Keep the fires burning. Write. Write anyway. Write 179 words, every time you can, and eventually, it’ll be a book.
Just not in November 2015.