Dragon writing

1. It’s Monday morning, where’s my Dragon Age?! I know, I know, they have until tomorrow, but it had better be on my doorstep tomorrow morning or I am having a major hissy fit.

2. Yesterday was Day1 of “Write, bitch, and no excuses this time!” and I managed roughly two and a half thousand words. So I’m relatively happy.

3. I am incapable of getting to the point even in fiction. Aieee.

If any of you reading this have danced around the idea of NaNoWriMo or generally around the idea of trying to write something, but have managed to slither out of it through a combination of apathy, procrastination and terror, then maybe my experiences can be of some help. I’m not trying to bully or cajole anyone into NaNo — for me, it’s helpful to have a deadline and a public commitment, but that’s all it is. Others may find that stifling. Others still might like the competitive aspect, or the idea that you can win some kind of a prize for it (just don’t ask me what it is, I’m not motivated by shiny items).

Perchin_Year_Dragon_pen_101eHowever, getting irritated at an artificial deadline is a sign of procrastination (at least in me). Most author-advice pieces I read have them all saying pretty much the same thing: if you want to be a writer you need to a) write, and b) write even when you don’t want to. Not wanting to is a luxury for those to whom writing is a mere hobby.

I started writing fiction in the 4th grade (thanks to some stunningly great and fondly remembered primary school teachers) and I wrote pretty constantly until about 15 years ago, at which point I stopped cold. I haven’t written any fiction since, not counting game stuff for live events or tabletop campaigns; those don’t count.

I don’t know why I stopped and I don’t know why it became impossible to start again, but there you have it. So for me, NaNoWriMo is an attempt to prove to myself that I can still put out fiction and that writing paralysis can be overcome. Turns out it’s quite easy once you figure out how; the hard part is working out what will motivate you and give you just enough courage to get the day’s pages out of the way. Oddly enough, knowing that thousands of people were also planning, pondering, procrastinating and putting pen to paper did help; it makes you feel less alone while still allowing the solitude many (myself included) prefer when it comes to actually writing stuff.

Note that at this point I don’t care about being read — that’s a whole ‘nother hurdle I’ll face when the time is right. But I’ll tell you one thing: if I can put out 10,000 words during this month, let alone the 50k NaNo demands, then it’ll be about 10,000x as much fiction as I’ve written in the last decade. Quality is irrelevant here: it’s the doing that matters.

11 thoughts on “Dragon writing

  1. There’s no prize for NaNo, not that I know of at least, aside from the satisfaction and personal motivation of knowing that you’ve managed to do something astounding within a month. I do motivate myself to keep going by trying to raise money for the Office of Letters and Light, and there are some free perks like getting a free copy of your manuscript, but NaNo is supposed to be all about personal goals and motivation even if no one reads a single word you’ve written.

    That being said, I am pleased and in fact astounded by the number of bloggers and twitter peeps who are taking part this year, and it makes me all gooey and giddy inside. I absolutely love how inspired everyone seems to be, and how we all feed off of one another (in a non-vampire way of course! rar).

  2. RE: Dragon Age
    Apparently Direct2Drive was letting people download it yesterday, but wouldn’t be sending the keys until tomorrow… or something to that effect.

    I know it’s still flagged as unavailable on Steam, where I pre-ordered it. 🙂

  3. Pingback: NaNoWriMo Nuances
  4. “a) write, and b) write even when you don’t want to.”

    This is the key for drawing, too, if you want to be a better artist. It’s the key for a lot of things, really. (There’s that whole “work for a decade to become an expert” theory…)

    I have a novel (or a half-dozen) I’d like to write, but this just isn’t the month for it. I have a book to illustrate. 😉

    Good luck!

  5. Good for you, Ysh. I am a stupendously poor writer. When I wrote my first book, 600 words was a good day. But I’m right here with you for NaNo. We’ll make it through together.

  6. ^_^

    I still find the Leannan Sidhe thingie, where she gifts poets with inspiration and talent, in return for years of their lives is very, very apt for *any* creative craft.

    While in the legendary form, it may be more dramatic, in application in our day to day lives, it’s just as true.

    …what you get back from your Muse, you pay for in years of your life [spent in the doing].

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    1. LOL!! Someone had to, just so someone could say what you just did.

      Note that I’m laughing WITH you, not AT you! /face_straight 😀

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