Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Blessed Samhain / Happy Halloween for yesterday, everyone!

I was thinking about myself this time last year, the difficult times and revelations I'd been having, my growing awareness that my self-image and lifestyle had to change, my hopes and my dreams and my fears. It's astonishing to think just how far I've come. I've realised several of my dreams and I am working towards others. I'm so much more confident and comfortable in myself, and so very happy.

Traditionally, this is the time of year when I blog about NaNoWriMo. I have attempted it most years since 2006, although using "attempt" may be stretching the definition. Most years it's involved writing a couple of paragraphs, hating them and giving up. In 2008 I managed more than 8000 words, and in 2010 I got over 14,000. With both, however, I lost the momentum to continue long before the month was over. The 2008 attempt suffered from catastrophic plot failure, while in 2010 I was unable to relax and concentrate with my volatile ex in the house - I only managed what I did because he was away for the first week of November. When he came back, writing stopped and so did my NaNo attempt.

This year I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. This is partly in recognition of my current life circumstances: it wouldn't be fair to anyone in the family, myself included, to hide away writing for a month. But equally, it's because I am reassessing my whole writing process. I'm currently fired up with ideas, the latest iteration of a long-term fantasy project, but I am approaching it carefully. I don't want to write massive swathes of text in a hurry, hate it the first time I re-read it, get discouraged, abandon it and go into a months-long non-writing funk. That's my usual pattern and it's unproductive. Since it doesn't work for me, and has never worked for me, it's time to try something else.

So, I'm taking the somewhat drastic decision that I'll be doing my writing on paper from now on. I know you're all looking at me as if I've gone mad, but there it is. One of my greatest obstacles in actually getting things written is the temptation of the internet, both in terms of social networking and in terms of 'looking things up' for my writing - usually things I don't actually need to know. It's no co-incidence that my writing output dropped dramatically when I first got internet access, and has declined further as my internet connections have got better. I'm going to take my time, write slowly, hand-craft my words away from shiny flashing distracting things. No tempting search engines, no Facebook, no I'll-just-make-avatar-portraits-for-each-character... none of that. Just me, a pen, and words. We'll see how it goes.

Thus, no NaNoWriMo for me. I can't write at that pace and transcribe fast enough to keep up with the required word count. But I will be writing, and I hope that this time they will be quality words that stand the test of December.

Wish me luck!

(NB: I am adding a new page to the blog today, as I'm starting a one-photo-every-day challenge. The page will showcase the pictures I've taken, updated daily or weekly depending on how busy I am. Look out for it!)


I don't know that the NaNo method will work for me, but I'm giving it a go for the first time this year. I just need something to give me the impetus to actually write something, even if it's nowhere near the total word count, as I haven't written anything for several years. Good luck with the photo a day thing. I am about nine months in to my challenge - some days I still enjoy it but others I really can't be bothered!


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