It’s October! Already!? It means in just a month I will scribble my heart out. But Fatima, goes the peanut gallery, you can write anytime. Why wait until November? I don’t wait until November. I write all the time, and people see one aspect on this blog. The other times I write in notebooks, and wrote a short story for Off The Wall’s latest anthology. It’s drips compared to torrents other people do, but internally I feel stronger than before. This time I feel ready.
This time I want to break some walls down.
Between my writer’s group and NaNo, I don’t feel so alone. I didn’t grow up with the university educated parents, read all the right books as a kid, or attended some International Baccalaureate programs at my high school. I read, synchronicity found me workshops and people, but the rest fell largely to me. I had to believe it, even as people say ‘you have stories in you.’ I wrote a variation on this theme so many times, I feel sick of it.
Last year, I had enough of a germ to carry me to the 50,000 mark with something I can craft. (Some people like to knock around with cars, others their manuscript.) I went to my NaNo page to declare myself a planner, a new badge gracing my page. They have personal badges now. A personal self declares if they announced their intention to write to the world. (I have that one too and this post declares my intention.)
How people prep for next month looks an individual as finger prints. I have germs, no, call them seeds. (So much better.) They emerge as idea nuggets planted somewhere in my imagination. Over the month they begin to bloom into a first draft, then I start pruning after NaNoWriMo finishes. My ‘winning’ draft had my character age for the last ten chapters to get over the finish line. In reality I have another novel within those last ten chapters, and I think I have another one within the first 40,000 words, in addition to the blooming nugget/seed/whatever.
This year I want to find my funny. I want to write a laugh-out-loud humourous novel. In fact this character walks around in my head saying the most outlandish things. I say wacky stuff, but I keep my discernment levels on high. This character does not care anymore, and she’s nudging me to do the same. For the month of October I will have to suss her out, see if we can go the distance, and I heard character journals can help in creativity. (Gives a bashful side-eye, all the way to Germany, at Richard Armitage.)
I call National Novel Writing Month my writer’s new year. The Jewish faith has Rosh Hashanah, Islam has Eid al-Fitr, and Christianity has Advent; All these times mark the end of something to start a beginning. Every November my creativity begins to turn. Sometimes it turns little, more like a nudge. Last year I felt the full revolution. I not only started something, I made it to the finish line. I learned creativity does not spring fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus. Creativity takes small or big steps, between big gaps in time. In my writer’s new year, the resolution now turns from 50,000 in a month to all the way to publication.