Last week I decided to sign up for National Novel Writing Month. The basis of this is for a writer to write a novel from scratch during the month of November, minimum word count of 50,000 words. I know people who have done this and they have enjoyed the experience. So I have decided to join in, throw my proverbial hat into the ring, and try to accomplish this feat.
As of right now, there are eight more days in the month of October before this journey of mine starts. I read a blog entry of a fellow writer talking about the process of doing this. One of the first things stated is how she tried to average 2,000 a day in order to complete the task. As a poet who has written poems that are at times no more that 100 words, the thought of typing hundreds, much less thousands, seems like a daunting task. Even when I wrote my first novel Nice Guys Finish Last, I know I didn’t come close to that. It took close to five years to write the first draft of that book. Now I am trying to duplicate a little more than half of that (book was almost 90,000 words) in a month. It seems mind boggling.
But facing this task has made me have to do something that I have never had to do during my journey into writing. I have had to think about writing.
Think about how much time each day I would write. Think about where I would be writing. Think about setting a schedule each day to take care of the necessities of my life (work, exercise, meals, etc.) and the necessity of writing. There’s a lot more to think about and I guess those things will come to me as I prepare myself for this task.
Part of my preparation has already taken place. I have told my family and friends of what I am doing and the fact that I will have to skip events, spend less time with them, and even avoid correspondence unless in case of an emergency. I told my Mom I would not cut her or Dad out totally, but not to expect to see me too much during this time. The part that stinks is that writing is already a lonely endeavor as it is and now I’m pulling away even further. I can already feel an internal war going on within myself between withdrawing and reaching out to people, which isn’t good considering the position that I hold at work, where I am needed to converse with my company’s most important client multiple times a day. I know they wouldn’t understand if I became distant. Plus I have always had this fear that if I let too much time go between any sort of human contact with friends that some of them would disappear totally from my life.
Maybe I’m wrong for thinking such gloom and doom. Maybe I just need to concentrate on myself and this story that needs to get out. But I know from the time I have been writing up until now there is a sense of isolation when I sit in front of my computer or sit with a pen and pad in my hand. It’s hard to explain to the average person what is going through my head or my body when I get to that place where I am ready to create with words. I have obtained a number of friends through the writing community and I know they understand how I feel. But I have to take a step back from them as well.
(Oh look at me worry, worry, worry. Why do I worry so?)