NaNoWriMo: Adventures in Word Vomit

I’ve been sick for a couple days, and I must say I don’t care for the physical experience of vomiting. My decision to participate in National Novel Writing Month has made it clear that I can’t tolerate the mental process of vomiting either.

So far, NaNo and I aren’t getting along. This isn’t because I’m not writing, or because I’m not happy with what I write, or because I’m stressed out. In fact, I appreciate finally having an excuse to sit down and pick away at my ideas for an hour or two every night. Somehow it’s easier to rationalize it to myself when it’s for a competition and not part of some long-term life goal. Now that I think about it, that’s pretty messed up. So far the only enjoyable part of NaNo has been the excuse to write a couple hundred words with complete peace of mind each night. It’s even easier to justify it to other people. For whatever reason, saying that you’re writing fifty thousand words of bupkis for a contest garners more approving nods than saying that you’re writing a novel of undetermined length which you intend to send to agents. I’m not sure why that is.

What I do know is that I don’t particularly enjoy the act of NaNoing, or WriMoing, or pantsing, or whatever the term is. Barreling ahead with no thought for what you’re creating. Word vomiting. I can force it, and I can draw the words out, but I can’t plow ahead recklessly for the sake of fattening my word count. It’s difficult to explain, and the closest i can get is to say that forced purging is unpleasant to me and harmful to my confidence in my work. I don’t moodily wait around for my muse to speak to me, but I can’t stand to force my ideas. I tease them out, I untie the massive tangle of knots. But that takes patience, and it takes care. I don’t know if I’m the kind of person who can balance NaNo and care.

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