You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been updating. I’ve noticed. Mostly, it was because I wasn’t writing. I was so tired most days after work, it was all I could do to keep regularly scheduled programming going, let alone write 2,000 words. It didn’t help that I lost any connection I might’ve had to my characters and story. I didn’t look forward to visiting them. They were boring and whiny and disappointing. That’s probably what happens when I write from an “idea,” rather than from character and genuine story. A lesson for the future.
But then, quietly, I started hand writing something entirely different than Story 1 or Story 2. It was a fictionalized version of something that happened to me. Something intensely personal that I feel desperate to write about, but haven’t because I know I’ll likely never do anything — i.e. publish — with the work. But you know, why not just write it now, for me? Why not write something that I need to write without caring that it’s “unproductive”?
And the reason I started writing again this NaNoWriMo season, the reason I started writing this intensely personal unpublishable story is because a friend started asking me questions while a bunch of us were out drinking during Words and Music last weekend. And I realized, as I answered his questions, that I had a lot to say. And it needed to be said whether it was published, whether anyone read it, whether anyone listened.
So maybe that’s what NaNoWriMo is really about, at least for me. Sometimes you just have to write. Stop thinking about the end game and the process and the ramifications of success and failure and just write.
I’d kind of given up on “winning” NaNoWriMo. I was too far behind and only writing in 700-800 increments before falling asleep. Which is something, but isn’t winning material. I didn’t think about it because it made me sad. And tired. Plenty tired. But, once more, a friend said something that got my wheels turning. Another friend, J. wrote on my Facebook page:
“Memories. Going to do some NaNo writing at Perks tomorrow. Thought about last Black Friday when I met you there and you helped spur a 5,000 word day that put me over 50K. Thanks again and I hope you’re having a great holiday.”
And talk about sad!! Not only did I remember *exactly* the day he was talking about, I wrote about it here on the blog. J. helped me get over the hurdle last year and he was the first person I word warred with. And, I realized right then and there (last night) that I was winning NaNoWriMo 2010, come hell or high water. If only so that I would no longer invest in the idea of an “even year curse,” for future NaNoWriMo years. If only to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 without a great story or awesome characters. If only to prove to myself what I can do.
That being said, my word count went from 24,916 words going into this new motivation to 31,532 words today. I wrote 6,351 words today. And I spent time with my parents. And cleaned the kitchen.
My parents and I watched Knucklehead, the first of the six WWE movies filmed in New Orleans in the last year (three of which I worked on). At first, my parents were like a lot of people and assumed they wouldn’t enjoy the WWE movies. Mamma Mia! said, “I’m not much into wrestling movies.” I assured them the movies aren’t what anybody expects them to be. They often include wrestling and wrestlers, but they’re funny and entertaining and well-acted. My parents were laughing all through Knucklehead and really invested. It was great to share with them. As it was great to share Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with them this evening. I’m such a sap. I almost started crying not even five minutes into the movie. But the books and the movies have been a huge part of my life, so I guess that’s to be expected.
Thanks to the friend who asked me questions last weekend, J. for his friendly Facebook post and everyone who word warred and sprinted with me today. Thanks to my parents for giving me the time to write when I asked. Let’s see if we can do it all over again tomorrow. And the next day. And then for two more.