Visit this to find out more about:
I was going to write this month's edition about the woes of finding readership for indy literary fiction in the States, but instead chose something more immediate, which would be that most regular of writing challenges, NaNoWriMo.
I participated in NaNo in 2004-2006, successfully completing it each year (and subsequently ended up with my first novel, The Cloak of Shrouded Men). Since that time I've written novel-length manuscripts around this period, one a year, from 2009 to the present. I say "to the present" because I have a new WIP, In the Land of Pangaea, and owing to how my year has developed, I waited until this month to begin writing it.
And I had a good mind to bang out at least the required 50,000 words for November.
I've done that several times with the previous manuscripts. I know, I know, I know I can do it. And that I can complete whole 100,000+ word stories.
And yet I'm still apprehensive about the whole deal.
My week is kind of screwy. I've determined that the best days to write are actually the days I work, because I want to leave weekends to other purposes. The ability to modify the number of words I write in a given day is not a problem. Thanks to NaNo I learned long ago what I was capable of, and have played around with that to such a degree that it's just not a concern.
And yet, technically I am already behind, and that still leaves me in a kind of panic.
For instance, I've just used the last two days to further develop the outline rather than write the actual story. This is a good thing (and keeping with the spirit of NaNo, which dictates you leave the whole process inside the month), and harks back to the extensive outlines I did for my Space Corps stories for years (although not, surprisingly the one Space Corps manuscript I've actually written, last year's WIP Seven Thunders). At the time I was doing those, I wasn't necessarily thinking of them as novels, but I've since realized that I did myself a huge favor in that regard. And this is the first time I've knowingly done the same for another manuscript.
That much is good. That much is great! In fact, I borrowed plenty from the Space Corps outline experience, including my favorite way to tell a story. I've done the aha! character moments in other manuscripts, but this will be the first time I see it coming. This will be the first time I haven't left myself with a lot of potential surprises. I see this as a good thing, because there was plenty of that in the outlining process itself, and all the time I spent developing the literary landscape of Pangaea.
But still. But still!
I no longer feel the need to prove to myself in any way that I can accomplish the NaNo goal, but it's still there, sentimentally. If I don't do it this year, I'll feel bad. Sure, I might get over it, but it just feels right to keep the tradition alive.
So that's what's making me feel insecure this month.
...stupid, stupid NaNo...