Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Insecure Writers - 'Do I have it in me?'

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is IWSG day. The once-a-month blog hop started by Alec Cavanaugh . IWSG = Insecure Writers' Support Group We share our insecurities and support each other with empathy, sympathy or practical suggestions. 2011 NaNoWriMoAs others have commented, it is NaNoWriMo time. That time when we are expected to crank out fifty thousand words in thirty days. If you prefer numbers, that is 50,000 words in 30 days. (It doesn’t look quite so frightening when you are looking at numerals rather than words, does it?)

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Well, speaking as an insecure writer, I will say that something that we all fear has come to pass.  No, nothing tremendously horrific.  I just somehow, in adjusting the spacing in my post (I tend to get grumpy about spacing) I managed to delete the whole thing.

I clawed back the beginning paragraph from the preview, and I am giving a brief run-down of my post.  I have learned something as an insecure writer:

If you mess up your manuscript (or blog post) you can carry on.

Here is what I said:

2011 NaNoWriMo
We are supposed to put out 50,000 words.  Will they be any good?  Can we write under that much pressure?  This is my third time participating in NaNoWriMo, and since my big problem with writing is to just let the ideas flow and make myself Wait to edit.  In otherwords, initial output does not have to be perfect.

This is a lesson I have learned.
My first NaNo (2011) is now a book called Mourningtide:

Last Year's effort will be coming out at some point in 2014.  I am currently working on a fable or fairy tale involving a rather large crocodile that comes to stay with a struggling family.

I tried an experiment where I just wrote.  I turned on my laptop first thing in the morning (morning composing seems to be the time when my work seems the best) and I typed with my eyes closed. I had contemplated a scene involving the local busybody who was going to come bustling over, encounter the croc, and after some humorous histrionics go tearing out of there mouthing threats.  It came out nothing like that.  It was, in fact, rather moving to see where the story went and how it went.  And it was all from me.
2013 NaNoWriMo
I think there comes a point where we have to admit that we do have ability, that it is there to be tapped, that we have to nurture it and not be so bossy.

It isn't hard, is it?  We see others as gifted and capable.  Why is it so hard to see ourselves so.

(And, this second time around with this @#$! post, it isn't such a bad things to let things be, is it?)

7 comments:

  1. This is exactly where I am with NaNoWriMo too - you hit the nail on the head. Yes, I can produce 50,000 words of crap, and I might even be able to produce 50,000 words of crap for my novel, but is it worth producing, well, crap, just for the sake of meeting a number goal?

    I don't know yet. Sigh. So far, I'm adapting my goals to be 50,000 words ABOUT my novel - character studies, brainstorming, outlines, etc - and not necessarily 50,000 words of prose. I write much, much better when I have all of that stuff figured out, so I hope this way, I won't have quite as much disposable language ;)

    Your freewrite sounds wonderful - and inspiring! I love when things flow like that. Good luck!

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  2. I like the notion of including notes and plotting... (Great suggestion!)

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  3. I'm co-hosting IWSG this month. I think the hardest part for many writers is writing. Anything at all. If most could at least get the first draft out, that's half the battle.

    I've never done Nano and don't plan to. I do like your ideas on how to make your word goal count.

    Nice to meet you.

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  4. The strategy of NaNo doesn't work for everyone--as you've said, it's hard to impossible to resist the temptation to edit as you go, and to just write to get words on the page. I've only ever won NaNo once in all the years I've participated, but I keep coming back because I love the vibe and the energy from all these writers coming together to work. It helps recharge my motivation batteries :)

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  5. Agreed! Very few of us are actually helpless. We just have to put our best foot forward and try, try again!

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  6. I give everyone credit who participates in the NaNo 'cause I could never stay focused. And Congrats on the Thirty Cubit Crocodile.

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  7. Hi Diana .. millions of you!!!! Great post though .. and I love the way the words rolled out when you just typed and ignored the world around you ..

    Thirty Cubit Crocodile sounds a fun fable/story or fairy tale ... and will be a great read - sort of difficult to imagine a hefty crocodile making his way around benignly, which I'm sure he does ... not like a bull in a china shop?!

    Cheers and have fun - Hilary

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