Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NaNo 2015....

All right, we are done again. Whew.

I sort of reached a conclusion to the story with Practical Magic. I say sort of because I'm not really happy with it. In fact I think it's mostly crap. But it's something and that will be good enough for now. I might just give you all a sort of Executive Summary or Book Report finish so you at least know what happened with everyone, but I don't know when or if I will ever actually finish the story itself. Maybe someday huge inspiration will hit me and I will know exactly the right way to finish their story. I just know for now this will do even if this isn't really it.

When I did NaNo in 2013 it was expressly to see if I could write that much in a month and to try to get Practical Magic out as a novel. It was a grand plan and I did it. But then this time after I finished NaNo 2015 I wondered what the hell was wrong with me, why was it so much like a forced march this time? It couldn't have been like that in 2013 right? So I went back and read the handful of blogs I did around NaNo in 2013 and I reached all of these wonderful conclusions about my writing that I promptly forgot for 2015. And it was a forced march then as well, I just blocked that part out.

First off, I don't like writing long form stories. A novella is maybe the furthest I am willing to go and even that might be stretching it. Writing stops being fun for me much past a short story and as I only write because it's fun it seems pretty dumb to fight that.

Second, I am a pantser. I will always be a pantser. I am pretty sure that being a pantser is the biggest reason why I prefer short stories. I don't want to think about where a story is going to go. Where it needs to end up. Whose lives need tidied up. I want to be as surprised as you all are by what comes out of my head. Sure, sometimes that does mean that I have an ending in place that I am writing to (yesterday's short story, for instance, started with the image of her wrapping up the gift and I had to figure out how she got there) or a line of dialog that I want to work a story around. But it doesn't mean that I have a beginning, a middle and an end all lined up with characters and situations blocked out. Trust me, I've tried that, but the voices in my head are an unruly bunch and will pout if I try to tell them what to say.

Third I write fast and I write sloppy. I might change the sloppy part in 2016. I'm thinking about a new sort of challenge and it will require a little more tidying up. But I write and I post here and I get feedback or I don't and I move on. Sometimes so quickly that when I re-read a post from a few years ago I've forgotten I wrote the story. Hell, there was one that someone told me they really liked from last month and I couldn't remember it. LAST MONTH. As in a few weeks ago! I write fast. Sometimes less than an hour per story. And yes, I know, that doesn't make them polished or perfect or even grammatically sound half the time, but it's still fun for me.

And that is the biggest lesson I need to hold. I am in a remarkable position in life where I don't have to write to make a living. I don't have to do copy-writing. I don't have to do Executive Summaries. I don't have to craft marketing messages. I don't have to make money from the words. I can just do it because it's fun. And I hate losing the fun things in life. Which happens more often than you realize. When you start "shoulding" and "coulding" instead of "getting to" and "wanting to" the things that used to bring you joy fade away to gray.

So I proved to myself that I can do it. Twice. The first time all focused on one story. The second time finding a finish for that one and allowing myself small fiction treats. I also discovered the second time around that I can force myself to write when I am in a lousy space creatively. Which might help my lazy writer tendencies. But it might not. Because just because I know I can do it, doesn't mean I have to do it.

Writing is fun for me.

I hope reading what I write is fun for you.

I am going to protect that a little more and keep it that way.

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