I Have Nothing

I know, I know, it was totally nuts of me to think I could "win" NaNoWriMo in a month which includes not only Thanksgiving, but also Julian's birthday (and the birthday of a school friend of his. And a baby shower. And this is our week to take snacks to school). As I believe I have said before, whoever thought November was a good month to "write that novel you've always wanted to write" obviously had no family and no responsibilities.

To compound matters, I am beginning to doubt my abilities as a fiction writer. I have ideas, ideas which are very fleshed out and complex in my head, but when it comes time to write them down, they seem shallow and trite. I feel I have no real facility with plot development. And, as far as creating characters goes, I feel the need to create every single detail of each character's life up to that point, suspecting that doing anything less would be false (I blame this on my years of acting training).

The thing is that, for some reason, I want to write novels and I reject all other writing artforms as less than novel writing. I even avoid writing plays, essays, and short stories for which I have ideas because I don't want to "waste" time I should be spending writing a novel by writing other stuff. Which often means I am not writing anything at all and not developing my skills as a fiction writer. Which then compounds my suspicion that I have no skills at fiction writing.

I have no idea why I feel this way and I am perfectly aware that there are many very accomplished and talented writers who are not novelists. I am also aware that writing a novel is really no great feat, it's getting the novel published which really takes talent (and yes, I know there are many really crap writers who manage to write bad novels and get them published as well).

So while I am not giving up on NaNoWriMo just yet, these thoughts I am having are bigger than the month of November. I have already scrapped the idea I had been nurturing (and researching) throughout October in preparation for NaNoWriMo. However, as I was washing herbs from our garden this evening, I had another idea strike me, and luckily, this one won't require lots of research because, well, it's just about people being people, so I have already done all the research necessary. Which isn't to say I'll have time to write because of all the aforementioned holidays this month. Not to mention I am lazy and spent tonight watching Calendar Girls and The Hunt For Red October instead of writing (well, THFRO is on right now, it's at the part where Sam Neill gets shot, he "would have liked to have seen Montana," and now Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery are heading down to stop the cook from blowing up the ship).

Anyway, I already "won" NaNoWriMo last year, so the pressure is off. Sortof.


Francesca said…
I love your nothing. It can sit next to my nothing. THing is, any month can be NaNoWriMo. I mean, we wouldn't get a widget, but we'd still be writing.

And this month it's not going to happen for me. But it still might. And it still might for you. Possibilities exist.

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