Silly Spins, with not enough time on her hands, signed up for the NaNoWriMo project. For those of you who haven't heard the buzz around the block, November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is an internet project to encourage people to really put their best effort into writing 50,000 words between Nov 1 and Nov 30.
So I've been going back through past writing, and I've settled on expanding a short story that I wrote many ages ago. It never went anywhere, although it's a good little story (sort of a futuristic urban fantasy). The character has been the most persistent, floating in and out of my head. So I'm going to take a stab at it.
But, of course, I'm nervous. As my last post indicated, I have a hard time sticking to something that can be boring or frustrating. And as much as I like writing, there really is a lot of just slogging through that's required. That there's a deadline is helpful. That other bloggers can access my word count is an even bigger incentive. Still, a defeatist voice inside says, it's going to suck...nothing good will come out of just a month of writing (without much editing...or you'll never a) sleep or b) reach the word count).
So I remembered that my favorite author, Octavia Butler, wrote a short essay on writing, called Furor Scribendi. So I dug it out and I found it reassuring, so I'll share some of it here:
"Here are some potential impediments for you to forget about:
"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you are inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.
"Forget talent. If you have it, fine. Use it. If you don't have it, it doesn't matter. As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent...."
"Finally, don't worry about imagination. You have all the imagination you need, and all the reading, journal writing, and learning you will be doing will stimulate it. Play with your ideas. Have fun with them. Don't worry about being silly or outrageous or wrong. So much of writing is fun. It's first letting your interests and your imagination take you anywhere at all. Once you're able to do that, you'll have more ideas than you can use. Then the real work of fashioning them into a story begins. Stay with it.
She later added an afterword to the essay, in which she adds this bit about persistence: "I suspect that this is the most important thing I've said in all my interviews and talks as well as in this book. It's a truth that applies to more than writing. It applies to anything that is important, but difficult, important, but frightening. We're all capable of climbing so much higher than we usually permit ourselves to suppose.
"The word, again, is 'persist'!"
Well, I'm off to do a bit more learning (about faeries), so that in about 10 days I can give myself over to persistence.