I’m trying to finish my first novel. I’m close. I think. I also said that last year. Right after I said I was going to throw the whole thing away.
In the beginning, I didn’t want to tell anyone I had a book idea. I jotted down notes and that was it. Finally, in 2009, I took a writing class at White Bear Center for the Arts. There were only about 4 of us in class. The teacher, Mike Blumer was great. Except he actually made me write. And bring it to class. And let other people read it. I didn’t know I was signing on for that. But, it got me past the jotted notes stage.
Then, we went south for the winter and I put it away. I came back in the Spring with full intentions to get right back at it. But the garden needed work. And the business was…busy.
Come that November, I participated in NaNoWriMo. I really hate that name. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.
Here’s the way it works. Hundreds of thousands (?) of writers and writer wanna-bes try to get out 50,000 words in a month. No that’s not a novel. But it’s a start. There have been some NaNos whose NaNo efforts because a published novel – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is one. I could be so lucky. or talented. The idea is, I think, to get the juices flowing along with the words. Quality be damned for now. At least that’s what I hope the idea was. I got my 50,000 down. I won. Oh yeah, forgot. There is no prize except that pat on the back you give yourself. Which I did. Then, we went south for the winter.
We came back and the garden needing weeding again. Business was busy. In August, I blew the dust off the thing. That’s when the quality versus quantity theory became obvious. Some of it wasn’t that bad. Some of it was that bad. And some of it was the equivalent of writing on the chalkboard over and over – or in this case writing for NaNoWriMo-
I will get to 50,000
I will get to 50,000
I will…no wait…it should be…I will get to fifty thousand words. I think that’s worth more words. I decided to ignore all that and just keep writing. Then we left for the winter.
When we came back this spring, I was really really gonna get on it right away. I was. I’m not even going to try to make an excuse for what happened. I don’t know why I didn’t start in April. But, I do know why I started again in September. Because I told people. Just a few. Enough that I sort of felt some pressure to at look at it. Again. Some of it was usable. Some of it actually might be pretty good. If I fix it up some. So I told a few more people. Now I’m telling ALL of you reading this blog. Which is probably still a small number, depending on how many of my aunties can figure out how to get on the site. For inspirational purposes, I’m going to try to pretend I have a vast readership. But, I’m still nervous talking about it too much.
What if I never finish it? What if I finish it and it’s too awful to publish? What if I can NEVER think of a title? What if you’re mad at me cause I kill.. .ok, that’s enough.
I’m working on a summary (here) and I will keep adding to it as I get braver. And, as I find out what happens myself. I have to. I told everyone now.