What I Have Learned – NaNoWriMo 2011

25 Nov

Hello, my lovelies. I have been a bit absent, and for that I must apologize. I promised myself that I would not fall off the face of the earth while working through NaNo, and that’s unfortunately what I’ve done.

It’s a shameful topic for me, really. I consider myself a writer; I should be able to produce at least 2000 words a day. For NaNo, I was aiming for over 3000 a day. Some days, I hit my goal in a few hours. Other days I worked for 10 hours straight, coming in at the bare minimum before collapsing. None of those days did I manage to crawl over here and let you know how I was doing, or what I was doing.

Being a creative person and sensitive soul, this of course caused me great concern and crises of conscious. Could I really call myself a writer if I could barely manage the workload I assigned myself? Or was I just kidding myself? Am I one of those self-published authors the other (traditionally published) authors gripe about: loads of time but no talent?

So, when I hit 62000 words and admitted that what I had written was complete drivel, I stopped. I didn’t quit. I stopped. I find the distinction important for several reasons, not least of which is the honest (albeit biased) opinion that it was redeemable.

I think I have a great premise, and two really amazing NaNoWriMo Winner 2011characters. I just think that some of the words are in the wrong order. And I’ve set about rearranging them. I have technically “won” NaNo, having written 50,000 words in less than 30 days, but I do not have a complete manuscript. I have no ending, and only the outline of a final act. I know where I want to go, just not exactly how I’m getting there.

Which brings me to something I’ve been struggling with for several months, the last 5-6 weeks in particular. When I published To Andrei, With Love I had a singular motivation: publish a book. Trouble is… I don’t think it’s a very good one. I know, I know… The things an author is never supposed to say, especially on a site dedicated to selling said tome. But here’s the honest: I settled with it. I settled for mediocrity. And in that I failed you.

In my head, that book, that story, could be so much more than I let it be. Those characters could be so much more. And I know that I was at very least short-changing myself by offering it before it was ready, before it was… Perfect. I hesitate to use that word, as most would say nothing in publishing is perfect, just various states of “done” but what I have given you is little more than a rough draft badly in need of an expert eye.

It, and this site, will remain, however. My pride screams for me to take it down, banish it from the web, and pretend it never happened, but my head refuses to let me take the easy way out. It is, after all, one of very few instances of my work that is available to the general public, and for good or ill it must stay until I have something to replace it. It is proof, to myself and everyone else, that I have accomplished my goal: I published a book. It is also proof just how short-sighted that goal really was.

Now, I wish to make you a promise. I promise that I will never again settle for mediocrity in my work. From now on, what I give you will be the absolute best of my talent and my ability. I will no longer be embarrassed by the quality of my work.

I’m going to take a good long time rewriting this tangled NaNo web. While I’m working on that, I’m going to be writing short stories and essays; some will be posted, while some will be submitted to various publications. Some will be genre pieces, mainly sci-fi, fantasy, maybe a little noir thrown in for fun. Some will be opinion pieces. Some will be shameless fan fiction.

But none of it will be mediocre.

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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Daily


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