I had a startling and yet pleasing realization yesterday as I began working on my NaNoWriMo project. Though I didn’t make near the progress I had intended or hoped, once I began writing, I felt ebullient. I was joyful and excited, and I realized something very important about both myself and my work.
I finally enjoy writing. Now, obviously I have not detested it before, or I would not have done it, but there was always a part of me that fell into the trap so many other amateur or wannabe writers do–that is, they do not want to write, they want to have written, as Terry Pratchett told me all those years ago. Since that conversation with him, I have striven to make myself want to write, rather than wanting to have written some novel or piece of literature.
And as I began yesterday, I realized that I didn’t care about reaching the goal of 50,000 words, or of completing the novel, or even about publishing it and moving on to the next one. I just want to write, to explore the world and character, to describe what I see in my imagination and learn to describe that better than I am capable of now. I thought, for the last few months, I was anxious to get this novel written and out into the world. Now I find that I’m just excited to write it.
This means two things, practically speaking. First, I’m going more slowly, and may not meet the goal of 50,000 words this month. It’d be cool if I did, and there’s a decent chance, but I’m really thinking about what I write and editing a bit as I go, which is very anti-nanowrimo. Second, I’ve discovered that the chapters will be very long, and I want to post things a chapter at a time, so it might be a while before the first chapter is up. I’ll let you all know when it is.
I’m quite happy with my life and the point I have reached. I’m excited to begin.