I didn’t get to the 50,000-word mark at the end of November, and you know what? I feel no guilt at all, no sense of failure, no feeling of inadequacy.
And if you also started NaNoWriMo this year and didn’t get to the finish line, I would like to take this opportunity, by the power vested in me by no one in particular, to absolve you of all guilt, sense of failure, and feelings of inadequacy.
I might feel this way because though I didn’t get to the end of a 50,000 word rough draft of The Book of True Names, I got a start on it, and that’s huge.
This is a book that’s been percolating in my head, has existed as handwritten notes in a composition book, for, quite literally, years. Not a single word of actual story was written. I did some serious worldbuilding, I wrote a few outlines, I jotted down ideas for scenes, and I went through some of my own exercises for the creation of characters, making lists of groups and so on.
All that’s great. I have a feeling I will use the vast majority of it.
But I had not actually started writing the book itself. It wasn’t a story, but a collection of ideas pointed more or less in the direction of a story.
Until November, that is. Now it’s actually a work in progress. It is actually progressing. I am actually writing.
I think I might leave my 2017 writing goals for a bit later this month. This past, not terribly happy year, feels like the right time for a revisit of my old New Years Resolutions posts in another effort to change myself for the better in the coming year—and there are some essential changes that need to be made on my part, friends.
Writing is a huge part of that. I love what I do. I am an editor. But I don’t want to be one thing. I want to be an author/editor, and I am. But for the past couple years, really, the author part has taken too far a backseat to the editor part. I’m not going to slow down on the editing, but I will speed up on the writing—no, wait . . .
I actually really have started speeding up on the writing.
I’ve found it again—a voice absent for a period of time now so long that looking back on it freaks me out—and I mean: Freaks. Me. Out.
But now I’m writing again, and damn it, I’m going to keep going in 2017. A novel will be finished, so will short stories, more poetry, and of course, our little Tuesday get togethers. After all, if I can be religious about this blog, every Tuesday for this many years, surely I can establish a new Phil-only religion around writing The Book of True Names, of writing short stories, of continuing to write poetry, and . . . what else?
Oh, and by the way, if you have finished your 50,000 words of NaNoWriMo, think about sending it to me for a review and advice on where to take it from there.