On writing (sort of)…

November is National Novel Writing Month and I’m having a sort of crisis. First off, let me point out that I’m aware of how ridiculous it is to be writing about writing when the whole point of this initiative is to write a novel in a month. Which I’ve already told myself would be impossible to accomplish. Since I didn’t write tonight (I did a bit last night though!) I guess you could say this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or maybe it’s just me wussing out in the face of my one biggest fear: that I totally suck at writing (i.e. finishing a novel), despite having believed for my entire life that I was born to do precisely the thing I’m afraid of doing. I’m just over the age of thirty and I have yet to produce a deliverable to that end. It really is starting to look as though that will never happen unless I come into contact with a hot poker of sorts to prod me in that direction. But in the hopes that I respond better to the carrot vs. stick approach, I’m pouring all of my faith into NaNoWriMo, knowing full well that I will actually have to do the work.

I have books about writing that I’ve been avoiding reading. That’s how much of a coward I am. I do remember flipping through Stephen King’s On Writing and learning that the genial Mr. King had one overarching but simple piece of advice for aspiring authors: write – every day.

Tonight, I’m going to be ‘kind’ to myself and overlook the fact that I didn’t work on the novel because I did nevertheless write. Maybe I’ll write tomorrow, maybe not. But I’ll do this. One way or another. It may not be very good, but at least I’ll be able to say I followed through… eventually.

I leave you with a tidbit of related research I’ve been doing, which happens to be a subject I’ve thought about more in the past year than the rest of my years combined:

Lying is a habit of behaviour. If this habit has been advantageous in the past it will be repeated. After being repeated many times it will become the standard and default response. This is why it is attractive and charming people who become narcissistic. Other people are usually less successful with their lies as children and so never form the habit. 1


One thought on “On writing (sort of)…

  1. Good luck with NanoWrimo – not an easy task. I tried it last year and did not finish because my writing style doesn’t allow me to vomit words on to a page without editing along the way.

    I do see the value in it to perfect the discipline of writing daily, if only just for the month.

    Hope you make it!


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