There’s only one day to go until NaNoWriMo kicks off, and I’m finding myself torn. Half of me is really excited and can’t wait to get started. The creative juices are definitely flowing! The other half actually feels nervous, something I never expected. I keep thinking I should have done more research before this point, I should have done more detailed character outlines and just written more out in general. But then I realize I would probably feel like that no matter what.
I think I’m afraid of not making it, of disappointing myself by either not making the 50,000 word count or not finishing my manuscript. I think I’ve been writing short stories for so long now that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten how to write a full-length manuscript, how to draw a reader in and connect them to the story and characters over time instead of within 1,000 words. I’m nervous the details, the forethought, the symbolism I love so much simply won’t be there.
And then I say, “TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE!!” and realize I help authors with these fears and doubts every day through my editing company. If I were a client, I’d tell me that finishing the book or completing 50,000 words isn’t necessarily the point – getting back to novel writing is really the point for me right now. I’d tell me that details and symbolism can come later, it’s getting the whole idea down from start to finish that’s most important. And about the symbolism, that’s something to be tweaked in a second, third, fourth draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect (or even entirely present!) now. As far as research goes, you can research before, during, and after your writing – there’s no limit to how much or when research can be done. I would say to just get inspired and get writing.
So I’m going to take my own advice.
Tomorrow I begin, and I’m going to focus on abandoning my own fears and inhibitions. I’m going to take the advice I hand out when I’m editing other authors’ manuscripts. And I’m going to enjoy myself, because let’s not forget, that’s also what this challenge is about!