Wednesday, October 24, 2007


How is it that the last section of October is stressful? Every year, there's the Halloween issue, which I've been considering off and on since spring and still haven't settled. I will be that person running around on October 30, looking for legwarmers, a ladybug costume, and, I don't know, a vintage cocktail dress (for the perfect aerobic ladybug lounge singer costume, obviously). And then there's the question that we all struggle with in as we settle into fall: Should I try to write a novel in November?

In 2005, I finished NaNoWriMo in a blaze of exhausted glory, hitting the 50,000-word mark with minutes to spare. Last year I started out with a great idea--based on the true story of my friend's Canadian grandmother and the Mexican restaurant she bought while her husband was in the hospital--but got busy and distracted with Cinema Hype, and petered out around the middle of the month. It was distressing. I didn't and don't really want to put myself through the process of watching a novel not get written.

I'd proclaimed myself finished with monthlong writing contests for the time being, since I'm still writing CH and I'm certainly not any less busy than I was this time last year, but now I'm starting to feel the pull of the NaNo. The posting guidelines for CH are less stringent than they were, so I don't have to post every day. I thought Tim and I might be filming our movie in November, but it looks like January's more likely. I'm fiddling with various TV spec scripts, but that's an off-and-on kind of thing, and it's the wrong season, and maybe Hollywood will burn to the ground before then anyway; I give it a 50-50 shot. And then I start thinking of how much fun it is to have something grandiose and kind of insane (Heh, I just typed "inane," which might also be not-wrong) to work on, and how much I like meeting up with people in cafes to work, and how Chris Baty's silly e-mails are really, really encouraging, and it just makes me want to sit down and write a novel next month. I even saw something this morning that made me think, "Hey, that's a novel!" This may be a sign.

I think I'll do it. Unless I don't. Unless there are certain things that happen on a certain schedule to prevent me (How's that for vague?). Or unless I start to feel like not finishing would be too, too stressful, not in the way that motivates, but in the way that makes me avoid books, words, novel-talk, the computer, other writers, other people, and the real world altogether. See? This is fraught already.



Sara said...

I will if you will.


Checked out the website after your post and actually found a plot-bunny trail that I'm stupid enough to try and follow.

Ridebis - you will laugh.

Liz said...

Ohhh, is that a cousinly challenge? Or a cousinly promise? Anyway, I'm going to. Let's do it. :)

sara said...

you're on!

It's a promise. :)

Liz said...

My NaNo user name is sillyzilly. What's yours? (Also, I have yet to figure out how to make the "add friend" function work. There's no search window!)

Al's Dad said...

Hi Liz,
Last year I tried my first Novel in a month...sort of an X-Files kind of thing...came up short.
This year I will succeed for sure...a somewhat fictionalized version of the Sasquatch tale that happened just a mile from my home in 1976. When I am done you can write the screenplay...outstanding!
Keep are amazing and you inspire an old guy like me. Thankyou so much.
Al's Dad