I'm going to be taking a break from most posting in November. "Why is that?" you might very well ask. OK...go on....ask.
Well, hot on the heels of my 24 Hour Comics Experiment, I'm feeling the jones for another crazy deadline, and so I've decided to take it on myself to join NaNoWriMo.
For those who might not be familiar with the term, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month...a masochistic little exercise that takes the fun of 24 Hour Comic Day and spreads it over the entire month of November. Except that this time I will get sleep, so maybe I won't suffer the system shock that 24HCD put me through. We'll see.
Now you might ask, "Why, Mike? Why are you doing this?" Ok...I'm waiting...ask, already!
Fact is, I want to write. It is a passion that burns in my soul like a poorly digested chili pepper, and usually does so about 5:30 every morning, when I wake to the strident peal of the alarm clock summoning me to another day of cubicle-dwellership, and I stand in the shower thinking, "There's got to be a better way to make a living."
Problem is, when it comes to writing, I'm highly skilled at finding creative ways to avoid it. If procrastination was kung-fu I would be that blind guy that used to torture the living shit out of David Carradine. Master Po...that was it. Never trust a kung-fu master named after a Teletubby.
I'm serious though...I will go to great lengths to find other things to do than write. I will reorganize my comic collection. I will dust my bookshelves. Repeatedly. I will surf the web until my eyes bleed, then I will surf some more. I will alphabetize my sock drawer...anything it takes to kill the time I should be writing.
None of which is conducive to furthering the kind of hedonistic lifestyle a want-to-be writer should be living. At this point, I should have a dozen novels under my belt and hordes of fans lining up to kiss the hem of my garment each time I walk into Chapters (at least, that's how it goes in my fantasies...another thing I do instead of writing.)
So, I need to break down the blocks. Just like I did with the art process earlier this month, I need to get past my own perceived limitations and, as follow Sean Connery's advice in Finding Forrester:
"No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart...The first key to writing is... to write, not to think! "
In November, I am going to commit myself to churning out 50,000 words, or as near as I can get in the time allowed. They may be 50,000 bright lights of genius. They may be total dreck. I may end up just writing the words, "No TV and no video games make Mike something something...." over and over again. I have no idea what I'm going to write about, or what genre it will be in, if one can consider the stream of consciousness I'm going to produce as belonging to any genre. And I'll be honest...I really don't think I'm going to make it. I very much doubt that I'll get out anything longer than a novella. I don't care; that's not why I'm doing this. My goal is to "get the lead out" as it were, and see if I can develop something like a proper work practice by breaking down all my excuses for not working. Wish me luck.
I'll have a space available on the NaNoWriMo site soon for posting a profile and excerpts of my novel in progress. I'll post a link here as soon as I can, but otherwise I won't have much to post here for a little bit.
On a technical note, I'll be doing my writing using the Google's online took, Google Docs. I've already completed a few pieces there under its former name of Writely and I have found it to be a very useful tool. This means I'll be able to update the same document from any internet connected computer, and I'll always have a backup.
As usual, I will be interested to hear or read comments on the ongoing work. Be as harsh as you like, but do try to be constructive.
One final note...there's going to be thousands of people taking part in the event this year....might be a good time to invest in Nabob.