I’ve decided that today is as good as day as any to update since, if I don’t update when I’ve got the thought to do it, I’ll never do it all. The title comes from the Cher song of the same name. I don’t actually have that song on any iDevice I own, but it features in an episode of The X-Files and I’ve just watched a good episode of X-Files (not that one), so that’s likely why it’s stuck in my head at the moment. The fact that this Hurricane Sandy is dooming my area with grey for the rest of the week is likely a coincidence.
I think I should mention NaNoWriMo as it’s just around the corner and I consider myself to be a writer. Part of so-called gloom throughout the majority of this month was due to my desire to have my novel completely edited and ready to send on the 1st of October so that it could be on someone’s desk or at least their trash bin before NaNoWriMo began.
I’ve been following this industry for a long while and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that NaNoWriMo can be rather undesirable for agents and editors. What often happens every November is that people who perhaps have always wanted to write a novel or folks who had never even considered it are inundated with cheers from peers pressing them to write 50K words in one month. The way NaNoWriMo SHOULD work is to force a person to write every day for 30 days, planning for a total of 50k before the month’s end, and then use the product from 30 November to begin crafting a real novel over the course of another year or so. This way, one has a real novel to present to an agent, thus beginning their career and so forth.
What ends up happening, however, is that folks write every day for 30 days, hit their 50k mark and then, with perhaps a quick Microsoft Word spell check, they send whatever they’ve crafted in 30 days to every agent in the world and are somehow surprised when nothing comes from their efforts.
While the above doesn’t truly concern me since I’m writing my fourth novel and I know, for certain, a final product is not really possible to note, draft, complete, cut and edit in 30 days, what is a devastating concern for me is that since so many of NaNoWriMo submissions get sent out between December and February, a real writing effort could get easily lost in the pile. So, if I finish off this four-year effort and send it off now, my chances for being noticed are tissue-paper thin all because of NaNoWriMo.
All this notwithstanding, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ll be using this as more of a writing exercise than an attempt at a real novel. I’m not even going to think about a topic until the 1st of the month so that I can push together whatever can, missing words, plot holes and all, in 30 days.
I’m no longer in a slump of missing my given “due date,” but I’ve not been able to push myself into daily writing yet, so my goal with NaNoWriMo, as much as I detest it and as much as I like to blame it for everything from Hurricane Sandy to poor American voting decisions, will be to just get myself writing again.