Na’ No’ Yo’ Normal Novel Writing

For some reason I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year – that crazy, month long sprint to 50,000 words. And every time I brought it up amongst my literary friends – and got the appropriately literary version of “meh” as a response – my intention doubled. Forget that I didn’t know which novel to work on, forget that I have three or four other projects going this month, forget that I’m up to my eyeballs busy. The only voice that really got through to me was the quiet one in the corner who, really, just wanted to cast on and start knitting. This gave me pause. Long pause. And though I kept up the gun-ho optimism, and signed in with a placeholder novel, my plans for November started to seem a bit desperate. I cast on for a cowl on Saturday (and have done nothing with it since, naturally) and today I realized what I was going to do about Nano.

  1. I will not be participating in Nano
  2. I will be writing

I’ve been reading teacher blogs at work lately ( . . . . I have no excuse for this ), and one I’ve come to adore is Michael Pershan’s Teaching With Problems, he talks in one post about writing slowly and well and deeply, and that makes me think about what kinds of writing I take enjoyment in. Not what I enjoy reading, although it’s interesting to think about how the activities are connected, but what I actively enjoy the process of crafting. I like research writing. I like writing about nothing while talking about things. I like snappy, funny, clever writing – but I tend to like it in flashes: warm, merry darts of sunshine amidst a subaqueous canopy of words. I liked my review for Princess Passes, and normally I hate reviewing, and I love my response post to the first chapter of tea table talks. I like thinking out loud on paper screen, and being prosy and vague in ways that you simply aren’t supposed to be in fiction or emails or text messages. So for Nano I will be writing. No, I will not subject you to a post a day, but I think one a week is a challenging-but-still-doable-well goal. I will aim for quantity (becasue that’s easy to measure) but focus on content (becasue that’s what we’re all here for, right?).

So here’s to the words to come, and the thoughts they might inspire.

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