Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Goal- 4 Novels, 12 Months

NOTE-  Here is a link to what I now hope this blog becomes over the next year-- Writing with Intention  While this post (and the next few after it) express a goal that this blog is no longer about, I am leaving them up as an example of process and how finding the best one for moving yourself forward requires regular re-assessment and often includes a number of "false- starts".  That's okay. Perfection is overrated, and there is always something more to learn than what you already know.


The sound of the start gun for NanoWrimo 2012 is less than twenty four hours away.  Gracing their blog page is a woman (Michelle Tuckett of winding toward the end zone of a year spent writing twelve completely different 50,000 word novels. One each month.  I am in awe.  Talk about an adrenaline pumping, death defying leap into writing.

With six novel drafts from previous Nanos (never mind the other multitudes of much shorter drafts for other non Nano stories) mouldering in my closet and decaying in my computer files from lack of more diligent editorial revision and regular writing attention, the thought of another twelve such partial drafts makes me a little nauseous. But it got me thinking.  During Nano, I can let go and just write. Some of it good. Most of it not. More of it good toward the end of the month after working my writing muscles so much than at the beginning of the month. I come alive with an energy I dream about the other 11 months of the year.   The rest of the year I poke and prod and pull with my teeth to get the words and sentences to straighten themselves out into orderly lines from the nebulous drift spot that is my brain and down my arms, out my hands, and onto the page. Exhausting, depressing work without much to show for it at the end of all that angst. The kind of work that makes you wonder what kind of masochist you are to claim writing is one of your favorite things in the world. As necessary as eating and breathing. Especially with the years piling up, one on top of the other, with nothing finished, nothing done, nothing to hand to another reader without a twinge of shame and an extensive apology.  And then came the crazy idea.

One of those sudden adrenaline pumping crazy idea kinds of thinks where you're wondering if you have the "20 seconds of insane courage" it takes to commit to something so big, so exhausting, so time consuming or if its just another one of those big ideas that would really be better of being left like a flame to gutter and disappear in a puff of smoke.  What if I modified Michelle's crazy 12 novels in a year idea to create my own version of a year long writing crash course to get my words out of my head and onto the page - rewrite 4 of my mouldering nano novels into newer 100,000 word drafts (2 months of 50,000 words on each), and then 4 months of editing (1 month each, pumping the draft up to 110,000 to 120,000 words) before Nano 2013?  What if I committed that much time to my writing craft  to see where my writing ended up before another year piles up? And now having written that out, no longer just letting the idea roll around in my head while I focus on other things, I have to wonder- have I lost my mind?

Which brings me here to this new blog page before I have a chance to let reality and logic and circular thinking and fear talk me out of it.  One day to let the crazy idea blow my mind. One day to grab a parachute before I leap.

Here are the working titles for the four novels in question:

1. Gone Android (GA)*
2. Nora and the North Wind (NW)
3. Blue Sky (BS)
4. Time Stop Cafe (TS)

*Gone Android will be the first novel up for a 50,000 word month.

Addendum 12/26/12-- Look for a goal change in the coming days as I reassess  writing priorities for 2013.