27 Nov 2012
One of the reasons for starting blogvember, is to continue writing everyday, even through I couldn’t commit to NaNoWriMo this year.
I have watched with envy the tweets about other writers success and word counts. I’ve focused on blogging and stayed away from writing anything else. But I’ve missed the camaraderie. Part of the excitement of NaNoWriMo is the boost you get from being part of something larger than yourself. NaNo is a movement. It’s not just you and your macbook or your pen and notebook pulling words and placing them down. You are doing it along with everyone else who is undertaking this mad endeavour. There are books to help you out, produced by the wonderfully titled Office of Letters and Light.
Aside from the companionship, the thing I miss the most about NaNoWriMo is the latitude I gave myself, to spend all the Tuesdays last November writing. In the coffee shop. Often accompanied by @eatshootblog, who is an excellent writing companion and writes at EatShootBlog. We were a good team. Good at drinking coffee. Good at sitting side by side madly typing and ignoring each other, for the most part. We did have conversations about what we were writing, sometimes. We also talked about a good many things, but not on the Tuesday in November last year. It was a NaNoWriMo 6000 words a day catch up and talking was a waste of precious writing time.
Over many, many Tuesdays long after NaNo was finished, we had perfected the art of the writing meet up. We met most Tuesdays when I wasn’t working full time, and it was a standing date. We’d write, we’d chat, we’d engage.
When it wasn’t possible anymore, around July when I moved jobs, I missed it. I missed the companionship, the shared goal to write, and to drink coffee.
It was my only tandem writing activity, the rest of the time I wrote alone.
Most writers write alone. It is a solitary activity. Some writers can’t write in noisy places. Some can’t write in quiet places. Some have to write first drafts long hand.
Blogging is solitary and yet immediate. Unlike novelists or philosophers, or writers of other published works that are actually printed, who have to wait months and sometimes years for the final product, bloggers can publish now. And promote and get reviewed. Almost immediately. Not so the NaNo novel. That takes a long long time. At the end of November you are left, if you’ve managed to keep your story under control, with at best a first draft. One that needs a lot of work. And that work is the hardest work of all.
The editing. The re-writing. The killing your darlings. This is the writing you must do alone.