Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scary and Freeing

I didn't expect to feel this scared during NaNo.

I've written a LOT in my lifetime. I've hit the 80,000 novel-length wordcount twice in the past three years. Output doesn't scare me.

But it's terrifying not to go back and constantly refine and edit and second guess...It's like hanging off the edge of a cliff.

And yet it's so freeing. I love being able to write and just let my characters live.

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't have a plot. I do. I've got a beginning, stuff that happens in the middle, and an end. I've got a first turning point...although I don't have my last free choice figured out. But I know where I'm going. I've got a theme.

So why am I scared?

Because my perfectionist side is screaming "LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! That paragraph isn't going to work! You've got to revise it!"


That's my melancholic side. Melancholics don't do well with pure output. They like to plan and edit...and plan and edit...and write...and edit and plan. My melancholic-dominent friends would completely die trying to do NaNoWriMo. They'd have to work ten hours a day to achieve the output and not feel crazy.

That makes me feel guilty.

But hey. It's one month. I can tear this to pieces in December or January...and it WILL get torn to pieces if I ever am brave enough to show it to the three editors I'm going to be living with this winter...

*goes and hides under a rock*

Oh wait, my point was, I can tear it to pieces after November and polish it and make it perfect. I know I'm writing good stuff, and once it's out I can copy and paste and cut to my heart's delight. If it doesn't work, then it's only one month wasted (and being sick it's not like I have anything better to do) and if it DOES work then...well...

So much the better.

I guess the truth is I always freak out about whatever I'm writing, no matter how much time I take to write it. Only in normal cases it's better edited so I can actually show it to people and get enough positive feedback to keep going. That's not possible in this case, so I just have to be brave and stick it out.


Victoria Rose said...

You go Elena! I have faith in you and your writing abilities! I have no idea what this whole NaNo thing is that everyone is so hyped about, but it looks stressful, I'll say that.

Btw, you said you were going to be living with three editors this winter. Three? Isn't it just Regina and Mr. Andrew? Who's the third? Bowman?


Jeannine Kinsey said...

Ugh. I know what you mean. I'm a painstakingly slow writer, and, when combined with the busy-ness of daily life, that makes for a very unsuccessful writer. I'm beginning to believe that first drafts should always be written the NaNoWriMo way. The method seems to have the miraculous power of bringing out the most creative ideas, once the perfectionist moves out of the way. Editing is for December. Editing is for December. Editing is for....

hmh said...

My inner perfectionist is also demanding to know what the rest of me is doing.

Elenatintil said...

Vicki - read the latest I&F and you'll learn aLL about NaNoWriMo! Yep, Bowman will probably be down there too.

Jeanine - Thank you! That was actually very encouraging!

Daughter Of Christ said...

Ah! the inner Perfectionist as it where. I definitely have one of those. Dont worry you will come through!

Milisande Awnia Grim of Mirkwood