Sunday, November 27, 2016
This month I wrote 25,401 words of a novel. That's 90 pages, in case you're wondering, so it's not finished. Not even halfway.
I know there are still 3 days left in November, but there's no way I'm going to make it to the 50,000 words I need to "win" this year's National Novel Writing Month, so I'm going to have to call it.
I'm disappointed that I didn't meet my goal.
Writing a novel is (insert whiny voice here) hard. Even when you have people taking care of you so you can focus. (I did. Special people made sure I was fed, had clean clothes to wear and a clean house to live in. They didn't make me feel guilty about hiding away evenings and weekends or not being available for certain events. For that, I'm enormously grateful.)
So why is it so hard to write a novel? Well, I'm sure that having ADHD doesn't help. (I really was diagnosed with ADHD back in graduate school, so there.) Actually, the first thirty or forty pages was easy, but then I started wavering about what to write next: should I put this scene here, or there? And I started forgetting details. For example, one of the minor characters lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina in a fancy house on Lake Wylie. I kept wanting to put her at Lake Lanier in Georgia AND I DO NOT KNOW WHY because Lake Wylie is practically in my backyard and I know absolutely nothing about Lake Lanier. Or Georgia, for that matter.
I have this tendency to want to edit as I go along. I know this is wrong! But I just can't help myself.
And then there are things I don't know, so I have to stop and look them up on the internet. One of the main characters has an acoustic guitar. But what guitar exactly? A Gibson? Martin? Larrivee? OK, so pick one. But then what model? And what does it look like? Is it made from Indian rosewood? Mahogany? Hawaiian koa? And is that the wood on the body or the sides or the neck? Jeez, Louise, there are too many details and too many choices.
In an effort to focus, I shut myself off from social media. No Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter (OK, there were one or two tweets), and no blogging for 27 days. Until today. Right? But you see, there was that one big thing that happened on November 8 . . . yeah, that election thing . . . somehow I managed to keep away from social media despite the temptation to get online and voice my very strong opinions about the election results and read what others were writing. But I managed to restrain myself, because I knew that would kill way too many writing hours.
So here I am with these 25,401 words. It's not a lot, really. I have so much further to go. I'll "lose" another NaNoWriMo (I've done this for five years and only "won" once, in 2014 -- but I didn't actually finish that story.) Yet in doing this, it reinforces the reality that I'M A WRITER.
But will I be a Novelist? That remains to be seen. If I can muster up the discipline I've had this month into the next eleven months, then maybe. I already have a book cover concept, a publisher, and an ISBN number. I've just got to come up with more pages. More WORDS.