“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath
As I’m writing this, NaNoWriMo is 4 days away. That’s enough time plan a novel, right?
Despite knowing full well that I peter out mid-NaNo without some sort of structure to guide my writing, I have yet to take any of my own advice. My ideas, scant as they are, still exist only in my head. All month long, I’ve been saying to myself, “Self, you need to set aside some time to work out what you want to write about next month.” Instead, I’ve gone shopping, went to the theater to see Paranormal Activity 3 and The Thing, dyed some people’s hair, finished reading The Shining, and started Game of Thrones.
I’m trying not to let the looming deadline freak me out too much. 4 days is 4 days is 4 days ““ I can sketch out an outline on my lunch breaks and in the evenings. I just need to make the time to do it, much like I need to make the time next month to move my ideas from my head to a novel. I came to NaNoWriMo just for that purpose ““ to give myself the permission to move my ideas from my head to a novel without freaking out about how imperfect each of those words came out or how pedestrian my plot twists might end up being. To be indulgent for one month and be selfish with my time and my creativity.
To just freaking write.
Tonight I hosted my local area kick-off party, so I know I’m hardly the only person in this unprepared condition. (I didn’t come with a plot, but I did productively spend my time baking three dozen cupcakes from scratch and crafting little NaNoWriMo flag cupcake toppers.) Of the dozen writers I met, only one had a fully fleshed out idea already at hand. Everyone else seemed to be sitting in my boat. But there’s still 4 days. 4 days for planning. It’s practically my new mantra.
Where are you in the process? Are you ready for NaNo this year?
Bonus Tracks: Actual, tangible novels that began life as a NaNoWriMo project.