Well, it’s October 13th, which means NaNoWriMo is about 2 1/2 weeks away. Last year at this time, I was completely lost as to what I was going to write, having too many ideas. I ended up starting a week late and not winning, though I put up a good fight through the end of the month. I don’t consider it a loss, of course, because I am still working on the project and am (slowly) closing in on 100,000 words. Actually, if I counted the extra pages I slipped off into another file for later use, I’d be over that mark. I have, however, been lapsing on the writing altogether in the last few months.
Summer has generally been a tough writing time for me. It’s not that I’m out doing things or anything, but more that I’m miserably exhausted and hot and can’t really manage much else with my day after work. I gave a half-hearted attempt at Camp NaNo a couple times, but never made it much further than a day. I can’t imagine how November works for me at all, being that work is busy and exhausting with holiday setup and such, but I can’t complain.
This year for NaNo, I’m again not sure what I’m going to do. Again, I have several ideas. I need to finish both Lazarus Machine and John’s Gamble. I had hoped to have them done by now, but my emotional state has not worked out in my favor. Job-hunting and crippling depression have been highly distracting. My reduced work hours should give me more time to write, but it mostly just gives me more time to feel shitty about myself.
So, options on the plate include, but are not limited to: a historical romance novel that has been swimming in my head for several years now but has less than two chapters written; finishing my current projects, which, paired together, would most likely yield the required number of words; something entirely random, taking the no plot, no problem concept to its purest meaning (least likely); or devising a goal system for revising any of the prior NaNoWriMo novels I’ve written to finally end up with a relatively salable product.
Given my financial situation, the last would be the most advisable and realistic, really, since I really need to finish something, make it presentable, get to a point where I can say, this is DONE and I don’t have to consider/think/fidget/worry about it anymore. I’ve tried this, albeit somewhat half-heartedly, in months following November, such as December, January, and Camp during the summer, but have never been quite successful at keeping to any sort of schedule.
I also fear ripping apart what I have done and stalling. That is what happened to my very first complete novel, written in college. I wrote steadily every week, had several hundred pages at the end, and then started to revise. I ended up wanting so much changed upon revision, that the manuscript ended up feeling like a huge waste of time. I’m not so sure that some of the things I wanted to change needed it (particularly in light of certain events in Twilight) but at the time, certain elements seemed childish and ridiculous (*cough*).
So what happens if I rip another one to shreds and am left with no useful scraps worth piecing together? Should revision be this terrifying?