Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thoughts on joining NaNoWriMo 2017

I just looked at my Activity Log on Facebook and counted today's "activities". There were 55. If I used that time to write 55 words of fiction every day, I would have a 20,000 word novella in exactly one year.

I do have a novella written; a first draft of one anyway. I just thought it was an interesting assessment. Fifty-five words a day is nothing, so why don't I have half a dozen manuscripts ready to pursue publication by now? I have no acceptable answer.

I am reminded of an article that I read a few years ago that simply said, "The key to finishing your written work is this:

How bad do you want it?"

Indeed.

That's why I keep joining National Novel Writing Month. I may write the same scene ten times or fight with my characters or struggle with dialogue or get so tired of it that I swear I'm never participating again (every year), but I keep coming back. I want it, but do I want it enough? I could have finished the book long ago, and I didn't because I was tired or bored or depressed or sick or busy liking and commenting on Facebook. They're all reasons, but I don't know if they're good enough excuses, so I keep coming back and trying to do this. I'm hard on myself sometimes. Some people take 10 years or more to write their novels. I'm on year four. But I need to find a balance between not cutting myself enough slack, and cutting myself too much slack. It may not be a best-selling novel, but it will exist and people will know these kids' story. They deserve to be known, and I'm the only one (apparently) willing to tell it. So I will. No excuses.

If you're new here, I'm writing a novel called The Children of Mossy Hollow. It is based on a real event in my family history involving a group of children (distant cousins) who were tragically separated from their parents into new and different homes. The story chronicles a few years of each of their lives starting from that fateful day.

I will ask a couple of my beta readers (you know who you are) to look at a completed chapter sometime in the next two months. Stay tuned.