It’s the middle of Nanowrimo right now (okay… “middle” is misused; it’s only Day 3!), and although it’s only my second year involved with the crazy-funtastic insanity of writing 50K+ in thirty days, I’m already reminded of why this month long free-write is the second best gift I give myself every year (the first being my annual foray to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference every October).
I find it easy to get bogged down in feelings of inadequacy as a writer. The world that comes out on the page (especially initially) is so different than what I see in my head. The authors I adore are inspiring, yes, but they’re also discouraging. How can I even esteem to their level? And why write at all when they’ve already said what I want to say and said it better. Plus, what if I am ever fortunate enough to share my stories and then not only do people not like them, they can’t even bother to hate them, because my words are…. nothing.
So if I’m so bloody insecure and neurotic about writing, why do I even bother? Well, because I need to. And because there’s just nothing else in the world like it. I love the worlds that seem almost more real to me than the one I literally inhabit. I love how writing makes me disappear, but how, at the same time, it’s through the process of writing my insides out that I discover myself. I love how it helps me make peace with the past and gives me hope for the future. I love…. Oh, enough. I love it; you get it.
And that’s what November, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month, reminds me of and helps me celebrate: writing is about writing. Take away the fact that disciplining myself to churn out 50 000 words is a great benefit to me as a would-be-career-novelist. Erase the thought that it’s a great exercise to attempt to write every awkward kind of scene that I might otherwise avoid, thus building my writing muscles. Delete the value of experimentation with no pressure to ever share the monster you brought to life…. Nanowrimo is all about the fun, the playing, the pure for the fun of it joy of storytelling and world building.
If you are not Nanowrimoing this year, plan for it in 2009–the world needs more addicts. 😉
“Writing isn’t something to take up if it fills you with angst, it’s something to cherish and do so with childlike delight.” ~ James Mccann