Sunday, May 1, 2011

What the bloody hell am I doing?

Last November I wrote a 50,000 word novel in a month. For fun. It wasn't. I'm glad I did it though, mostly for the experience and also the slight satisfaction of getting something out of my brain and into a .doc file (that you'll never be allowed to read, so don't ask).

This satisfaction wasn't really worth the self-imposed stress - as you'll see from this downbeat and hostile post I wrote when I finally finished the bloody thing - but at least I can now say I've written a novel. A scruffy, slightly confused, massively padded novel, but it's all about the word count, right?

And what else was I going to do with those two free hours per day anyway, when I wasn't visiting tombs and writing for a living? Watch through all of Battlestar Galactica again? Talk to people? Don't be ridiculous! No, taking my laptop to a remote Wi-Fi no-no area and compulsively clicking Word's 'Recount' button in the hope that it might magically skip a digit was the best way to unwind in Jerusalem, Cairo and Luxor.

I'm an idiot. But a creative idiot, at least. One who clearly doesn't learn from his mistakes...

This new new thing

This new thing is different to the last new thing, which predictably I've hardly made any progress on since writing that optimistic post. Without the phony pressure of a pointless deadline, where was my motivation? Besides, I've been too busy since then being a tourist and talking to people - all of which will provide valuable material for this new new thing (maybe that's why I found it so hard to write back in the UK - I wasn't doing anything to inspire me).

This new new thing has the potential to be a 50,000 word story without too much stretching (the old new thing doesn't), and it's something I really have to write as soon as possible while it's still relevant and fresh in my mind.

One interesting aspect of last November's novel for me is that it really captured a snapshot of my life at that exact time - the things I was doing, the girls I was obsessing over, the diarrhoea - all preserved for posterity in Arial 12 for my grandchildren to print out and ceremoniously burn. So it would be cool to capture this stage of my travels too, when things are quite a bit better and my bowels are mostly fine. It's not actually about me, but the last one wasn't supposed to be either.

But with six months to go until the next NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where's my goddamn pointless deadline?

NaNoWriMay - no way!

You know what they say - if you can't join them because you're six months premature, create a stopgap and do it yourself. After all, what could be better than a fictional novel writing competition people pretend is real than a fictional novel writing competition that literally no-one except me is doing? (Don't answer that, I have to shield myself from reason if I hope to pull this off).

I'm going to treat this just as unnecessarily seriously as I did last time, including posting word count updates to keep me on my toes every time I use my precious time to write blogs about things I've spent my precious time doing.

I'm never doing this again. I may have said that before. Let the insanity commence!

Novel progress: 653 words (1.3%)

Art: Zdzisław Beksiński

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