Announcing your participation in NaNo events is meant to help you along by increasing your levels of guilt and tapping into your desire to avoid public failure, so here’s my announcement! I’m participating! I’m setting myself a small, manageable goal, because then my chances of going beyond it are high, and every one of those “extra” words will be a sweet little nugget of success. Sort of.
I feel guilty about how little writing I’ve done these last two months. I’ve had the time, I just haven’t had the energy or right state of mind. Terrible excuses, I know, but there they are. I’m going to use this second round of Camp NaNo to help me bash out another chapter or two of my confusing mess of a novel. I’ve started on Draft 1.5. It can’t be called Draft 2, because I never finished the first draft; I just needed to start over. My protagonist didn’t have enough personality and I was experimenting with too many tenses and voices and perspectives. The present tense has been happening the most naturally for me, which I find surprising and a bit worrying, because I’ve heard that a significant number of readers are hostile towards it and, more importantly, I’m not sure if I’m going to be capable of successfully sustaining it throughout the entire novel. I have to move forward though, so I’ve chosen to write the whole thing in the present tense and I’m sticking with that, at least until the end of this draft. Which is currently nowhere. Really, nowhere.
I so badly want to get this silly story written, but I’m suffering from something that I’m sure a lot of wannabe writers experience at one time or another. I’m going to call it Intimidation Lethargy: the feeling you get when you’re extremely aware of how many people want to do what you want to do and how many of them are actually doing it and how many of them are better at it than you are, and more productive, more experienced, more involved, more connected, more driven, more well read… and then you just want to curl and up and sleep because you’re a failure and you’ll never be good enough and your novel is a mess and why bother at all? And then you realise that, at some point, you have to bother because if you don’t, you’ll be sad and filled with regret and self-hatred growing like prickly weeds in the fertiliser of the fact that you Didn’t. Even. Try. Possibly a totally inappropriate use of the second person there. Is this a universal truth, or should all those yous be Is? I’m not sure.
This week I’m doing work experience, and I’m too out of practice with rationing my energy to allow productivity in the evenings after full days at the office, but I’ll get into the writing next week when the job hunt resumes. I intend to fight back vigorously against the Intimidation Lethargy and I intend to emerge victorious, with a chunk of writing to (not) show for it.
Hopefully all this oiling of the writing cogs will lead to a bit more blogging too, because I have a lot I should say about life and London and all the pies and pigeons and picturesque parks that come with it.