Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In case you're wondering where I've been...

This has taken a hundred hours or more to produce (and it's still not finished). Also, term has started up again, and with it my job and my teaching obligations. The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy, but things are starting to settle down...

And we're a fortnight away from the start of NaNoWriMo (my profile). Time to start preparing? Well, hopefully. It's definitely time to start ignoring people writing blog posts about how NaNo is a waste of time, or stupid, or giving people the wrong ideas about what a novel is, or encouraging people to write crap and then rush it to publication, or any of the other familiar, tiresome drivel that writers with no sense of fun spout at this time of year. The time for those blog posts (and even then, you'll find no such misery here) is *after* NaNo, not before.

Now is the time to focus on actually going for it, and getting the most out of it. I blogged here with some tips on overachieving at NaNo (for those of you who've managed to escape my incessant bragging, I took 8 days over my first NaNo and 7 last year), here with my thoughts on NaNo performance anxiety (and looking back over that post, I'm amused to notice I'm having exactly the same feelings this time around), and here with the epic story of my 2010 NaNo, which neatly summarises everything I love about this event.

When I did my first NaNo, I was too busy for my own good. I was busier last year. I'm busier still this time out - between my two jobs, I'm left with only about two days' worth of free time during the week, whereas last year it was closer to four, and there's a big Halloween bash on Nov 2nd which may well lay me out completely for that weekend. And The Second Realm has, all year, stalwartly resisted my attempts to write it substantially faster than 500 words per day.

This November is going to be brutal. And I'm probably going to love every minute of it. Why? Because it's immersion. I'm going to be living in the world, probably even when I'm at this party (regrettably, The Second Realm offers no particularly good halloween costumes, otherwise I'd be sorted). It's really rewarding to just lose yourself completely in something. The closest I've had to that this year was drafting my thesis over the summer, and that was too much like real work.

Of course, I may snap, or fail (you're free to mock if I fail, but not if I snap), but it will be worth it. NaNo is worth doing. I'd recommend any writer to do it at least once. I don't think you can get a handle on your love of writing unless you've pushed it to extremes, and there's no better extreme than NaNo.

I don't really have much else to say on the point, but I'll maybe see if I can think up some more NaNo tips for next week. Failing that, I hope I'll see you somewhere in November, if and when I come up for air.

In the meantime, here's another plug for my music. Go on, give it a listen. Let me know what you think (politely, please ;D).

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