Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo Dilemma

Just a quick note:

I started this year. I'm 675 words in, which is amazing considering I spent all last night washing fruit, portioning trail mix, and getting food ready for ten days worth of meals.

You see, every year at this time is something called the Royal Winter Fair. It's ten days of agriculture and animals. And for the last eight years (this year is my ninth), I spend all ten days working it. I mean, there are some high points - money for one, which will come in handy when Christmas rolls around.

The second is the interesting people I get to meet. And the ones that return that make me smile. I work with the ring crew - a bunch of jokers who are responsible for setting up the horse jumps all day, every day (except for the days the cows are showing).  They're crude, rude, obnoxious, arrogant, and all in all incredibly juvenile. Like for instance, this is what happened when I left my camera unattended last year

Think I'll make the same mistake this year? *GRIN* Probably. God I love those guys.

BUT... (not BUTT, giggle) also means tension, exhaustion, emotions running high and tempers flaring left and right. After all, you take a group of people who care about each other and throw them into a building for fourteen to eighteen hours a day for ten days, subtract things like sleep and nutritious food, and add STUPID PEOPLE with a sense of entitlement just because daddy bought them a horse when they were six months old, and it's an explosive powder keg.

It also means that while I sit and watch doors and make sure everything is copacetic in my little corner of the Fair, I have time to write. But there's no ability to concentrate. Which means I don't write. Which puts my NaNo at risk. Which is ONE of the reasons I've failed the last four years. The other being a complete lack of discipline. (Which is another problem in my life all unto itself, but I'm not getting into that issue now.)

And then I also decided that what I've started is great, but I'm not sure that it's the novel I want to write. So my dilemma is this - do I keep going with what I've started, and hold off on what I really want to write, or do I scrap the 675 words and start all over again, hoping I get just as far, or further along, before I have to start my ten days in animal hell?

So my wonderful friends, what's your take on this? What sage words of wisdom do you have for this struggling writer? Any at all?

Bueller? Bueller?

2 horny thoughts:

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

First, stop calling previous years "failures," because by doing that you're setting yourself up to fail this year - you're psyching yourself up to fail. Stop it. Did you write anything in those previous years? Then you succeeded, because you ended the month with words you didn't previously have. That's success.

Yes, strive to do better. Strive for more words. Keep NaNo as the brass ring, and keep reaching for it...but celebrate how close you get, even if you don't reach it. Celebrate how you tried, because if you don't try, you're never going to reach it.

I've never done NaNo, but my understanding is that you're not supposed to go back. I'm not sure, though, if you're saying you started the book wrong (it's not going in the right direction for the story you've realized you want to tell) or if you want to write an entirely different book (a funny fantasy vs a dark noir mystery). If the former, then just leave those words alone and keep moving forward. If the latter...that's up to you. Go with your gut. I've started the wrong book before and set it aside, but I've always come back to it at some point (or will).

Just keep going. Keep trying. Keep writing. And celebrate that you are.

Tamsin Flowers said...

Hi Angell,
Had to pay a visit in return after your lovely comment on my blog.

Keep up the good work with NaNoWriMo - even if you do it half in November and half in December. I'm working hard to finish my current project by the end of the month - about half way through it now. But will I get it done? Like hell I will! Only if I stop looking at dirty pictures on Twitter!

All the best,