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24 December 2006

01 December 2006

A Parting Glass

A few parting thoughts on NaNoWriMo, now that it's all over but the shouting (and cake...gotta get me some cake):
A 24 Hour Comic in October. A 30 day novel in November. It's like I'm dead set on proving the Law of Intention.
Actually, I'm dead set on doing away with all my excuses for not getting the creative work done. My usual rate of output for the past few years has been about 1 comic story per year and a short story in about the same. In the past two months, I've blown both of those limitations out of the water.
Surprisingly, I found I still had time for a generous amount of reading and the occasional game of Starcraft and Literati.
It seems to me that a creative endeavor is like going to the dentist...the worst part of it is the anticipation. With all the thinking and planning and "research" that goes into a project, you can talk yourself right out of doing it, or waste so much time in the preparation that you never get around to actually doing the job. That's why I find that quote from "Finding Forrester" so apt, and that's what this past month has taught me...the only way to get it done is to sit right down and do it. Worry about the details afterwards. It's easier to edit your work after you've written it than it is to "plan" it before you write it. That's what second drafts are for. And third drafts. And umpteenth drafts.
One thing I have noticed since I took on these projects is a jump in my general level of energy. Far from being caught in the typical dull routine of daily life, I've found that I'm eager to keep moving forward, and the things I found dull previously have only become waiting periods until I can get back to work on my projects. If nothing else, I guess NaNo is good for a mental boot in the ass that we all (especially us pretentious creative types) need from time to time.
I'm hoping that when I walk away from the effort of the last two months I'll be able to maintain a more realistic balance of creativity and productivity. I don't have any hot projects on my plate right now aside from editing the novel I've just written (and hoo boy, does it need it!), but I've got a ton of stuff that I've started and not finished, so maybe now's the time to get some of those things off my plate. I'm looking forward to the months ahead.

A few liner notes: The Daily News article ran on Thursday instead of Wednesday, and they didn't run my interview or my excerpt, so I guess I didn't get much publicity out of that one.
Thanks go out to Jaymee Goh, the Municipal Liaison for NaNo in Halifax. She organized the Sunday write-ins and the publicity, and introduced me to a great new cafe where I can hang out with the beret crowd and pretend I'm a grownup. All praise to she of the brilliant T-shirt and promises of cake yet to come. (And now I can say I know one of those people who use cute little anime characters for their avatar.)

Right now I plan to do this project again next year. Unless I make a gajillion dollars in the meantime and can finally build that underground bunker and begin training my horde of robot zombie ninjas to fulfill my plan of world domination. Whichever comes first.