Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A long, hard look into a semi-reflective surface

The keyword for today is "doubt." So many things are in flux. The play, my writing, even my financial security is a bit up in the air at the moment.

I went with it for a while. Sometimes important things become clear in moments like these, when all the surfaces in my life seem to be made of sand.

And a tiny revelation did come, concerning my NaNo project. I was describing the book to a friend the other night, and then started to explain the Baranatalo book, from which some of you have read excerpts here on the site. Even I could feel how passionate I became when discussing this project instead of the one I'd set aside for NaNo. How that same passion was missing when I was describing the outline of the newer project.

"Why aren't you writing that book?" My friend asked.

I explained that the rules of NaNo do not allow for works already started, and since I have 25,000 words already on paper, blah blah blah. I don't think I sounded very convincing. Even to myself.

The NaNo project is theoretically a fun book. I think I would enjoy writing it and that people might enjoy reading it, but what I realized today is that I do not need to write it. The other book—the strange man who spends page after page alone in his apartment—this is the story I have been coming back to ever since I was nineteen.

This is the one that will not leave until I get it onto paper.

So I'm sort of bowing out of NaNoWriMo, although I'm still setting myself a 50,000 word-count goal for the month. That should be plenty to finish the first draft of the piece, and let me move on to the editing, reshaping and polishing that I know it will need. I think I'll keep updating the word count on the NaNo site, just to get the camaraderie and competition aspects that NaNo provides, but I will stop short of declaring myself a "winner" this time around, even should I meet the goal, since I don't want to cheat.

It feels like the right call. It feels good to have made a decision.


After resolving the writing issue, I decided to ignore the other mysteries I currently face and do something productive instead. So I made a fake dust-jacket for a book of poetry, to be used as a prop in the play.

Something ironic about designing the cover for a book which does not exist when I should have been creating an actual book instead, but it was cathartic to throw myself in, and just build something.

Here's what it looks like, before we beat it up tomorrow to make it look old and forgotten:

Tomorrow, the Moon answers more of your questions! Don't miss it! And don't forget to submit queries of your own to the email at left.


Taffiny said...

I like your Nano decision. It is basically what I am doing working on the story I have been working on for years, but don't have a draft for (I just wont go for the Nano award if I hit the 50,000 word mark). (though I do envy you your 25,000 words).

I agree, you should work on the piece you are passionate about, the one you wont feel complete until is completed.

I like the book jacket and the irony. Sometimes it just feels good to be able to start something and see it completed in a short amount of time.

I would say something about flux, but stupid headache has me considering taking out left eye, so I can't think straight.

Unknown said...

Hey it's good that you made a positive decision. I am certainly intrigued by the Baranatalo story and wanted to hear more and more and more. As for the dust jacket; have you thought of going into a business where you make dust jackets for the books that people haven't written yet, so that they can stick it over the book they are reading and protect that book. That could sort out your financial security. Oh no hang on you're the agony uncle.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I have to agree with the previous two replies--go with the passion and let go of the arbitrary rules. I don't feel a burning (yet!) for my developing story and would gladly move to another project that fueled the old fire.

I like verillion's dust jacket idea as a moneymaker--one might enjoy purchasing a window into a world that doesn't yet exist. Nice picture of the flower, yours I imagine?

Liz Dwyer said...

You do what you need to do. That energy you have for your pre-existing story is a good thing.

That dust jacket is quite good. I agree that you could be designing those for a living...start with romance novels, they could use some image improvement!

pundy said...

Write the book you really care about and put all of yourself into it. Nothing else matters.

Good luck.

Reading the Signs said...

I agree with Pundy. It's what I need to be doing as well. But - if the NaNo helped you to arrive at this place then it was a very good thing to have done a bit of it. I wish you well.

(and it's marvellous that you are sorting out the world's problems).

The Moon Topples said...

Taffiny: Actually, your story is fully within the spirit of NaNo. It's the words already on paper in draft form which disqualifies me from winning, but you can still download that certificate if you cross the finish.

Ver: With my readership, I could just do covers for the books they are writing, and they could slip it over something else and just leave it lying around, to make them feel published. Any takers?

Matthew: I never had the burning drive during last year's project. I was able to complete it anyway, although I kept stealing time to write the one I'm now concentrating on fully. It took me a good six months or so to think of the NaNo project as a potential book. But there was a lot more good than bad even without the fire or the need I currently feel toward the other project.

Liz: Sure, but I'll need an oil painter and some impossibly-built models to make the covers work.

Pundy: Thanks. I agree.

Signs: Yeah, NaNo helped me to clarify, as well as being busy this year (last year I had literally nothing else going on). It was a matter of having to steal time to write, and wanting that time to be fulfilling.

Taffiny said...

Okay, so all my words already on paper in daft form are fine.

How much do your services run?

Simple Blog Writer said...

The NaNo rules are hanging me up, too. I'm still trying to get through to the end of the month with the piece I started on the 1st. But boy is it hard when I have another piece that I started before Nov 1 that I want to get to. Glad to know I'm not alone in this.

Found your site through NaBloPoMo.