Nanowrimo. National November Writing Month, the contest in which everyone is a winner as long as you manage to write a 50000 word novel in a month. Your prize is the novel itself.
This year, again, I started the competition and… I didn’t finish it. Again. But there’s something that I wouldn’t have discovered unless going through this again and it’s all about the writing process. I’ve tried so many times to outline, plot, know all the answers, plan and it all went to waste, like this year again and the years before that, but, this year I found out my rhythm.
Writing is not easy, whomever says that, eats shit, I’m telling you that. It’s a painful process, you invest yourself in your characters, they become a part of you, you give them life and they drain that essence, they need it on order to survive on paper. Like any other young writer, I’ve been reading articles, books, essays on the craft, how to improve, how to write, plan, plot, outline and, as this November was passing by, my words on page not moving fast enough, I realised that none of it actually made sense to me.
I am a mess, a true mess and forcing order into chaos wasn’t taking me anywhere. So I cursed and let it be. The thick notebook I have for notes has only one page written in it, one page with random thoughts, ideas or just a word which only make sense to me. That’s it. One page. One page which sums my ideas for my novel, for the things I want to write and it works just fine for me. Sometimes I just draw on it, hearts and butterflies, sometimes I have brilliant ideas and I rush to go write them down so I wouldn’t forget; relying on memory is a stupid thing, experience is a good teacher.
Now I write almost everyday, less pressure, less beating myself up for not doing it in a “proper” way. I found myself and my way of doing stuff and even if it’s not perfect and makes me go back and re-write, this time my Characters are fully in charge, telling their story though my blood, not the other way around. With their freedom, I am free to write, happy every time I get the chance to put things on the page, even if it’s 100 words or a 1000.
I don’t care what others do any more, I just listen to the people inside my head, they know better than anyone!