Thursday, November 10, 2011

Change of Plans

I've known I was easily distracted for a long time. I've known I try to do too many things at once and don't realize it until I'm up to my knees in it. I've known I can't trick myself into goals I don't believe in. I've known my priorities don't always revolve around what I should be doing. Technically, because I signed up on the website, I'm supposed to be doing NaNoWriMo, but I haven't been writing on my story for over a week. And I'm just now getting used to the idea that that's okay. I know exactly what I want this story to be. And the other night in Writers Chatroom I got a confirmation. I got 'permission' to stop doing Nano.

I don't like starting something and not finishing it. But I'm going to finish this story. I'm just going to finish it like I finished the first one: lovingly, with research if need be, with development, with time. I'm going to spend quality time with it, like I do my nephews, like I do with my sisters. That feels right.

I don't know if I'll reach the Nano goal this month or not. I'm not saying I'm dropping out yet, either. I just know I don't have to speed through this story.

I probably didn't realize what all Nano was when I signed up. Sure, I got the basic "you need to reach the goal of 50k in 30 days". But I've heard of all the ways people pad their stories out to reach that goal, how people panic or people feel like failures for not reaching it. I was starting to feel like a failure myself. It stopped being fun, and it did it in less than two weeks.

I launched into Nano with only an idea, and not a very well-developed one. (I decided to do Nano the day before it started.) But my new idea was so new that I hadn't had time to get to know it, and it didn't have as much draw for me. The MS I started in October did, though, and my MC kept calling to me to keep her adventures going. I'm querying her first book to agents. Really that's what I should still be doing - building my query list, sending out emails so I can get replies before the end of the year. I technically don't have time for Nano.

Nano is magnetic because of so many people, so much peer pressure. But you shouldn't do Nano because everyone else is doing it. You should do Nano because you want to challenge yourself, you want to finish the novel you've never made time for, you want to see if you can really write that much in a month. Whatever your reason, make it a good one because it's what'll sustain you when the going gets hard.

You shouldn't do Nano if you know it'll get in the way of other things that are more important. To all those who are still doing it, good for you! Have fun and get as much out of the experience as you can! To any who have realized they can't do it this year after all, don't feel like a failure. I don't.

This is such a pretty song with some really beautiful lyrics. Great for my mood right now:

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