You probably know I do NaNoWriMo every year. I’m a big believer in what it can do for a writer, whether casual or professional, young or … uhm… not young.
I planned to plan this year. My goal was to approach this NaNo the way an author “should” approach a project: all plotted out with chapter / scene notes. I even expected myself to master a new-to-me piece of writing software in time. I started prepping with a song in my heart (The Pretenders – Precious).
When the song in my heart turned to non-writing difficulties, I floundered. Perhaps I should confess at this point I’ve never approached a writing project the way an author “should.” With everything else going on, I poked at my project here and there. It was easy to say I’d work on it when I had time and ability to devote attention. I managed to put together five pages of tightly typed outline before packing it in and deciding my NaNoPrep was a big fail.
Oh, and Scrivener? Bigger fail. Never got to it at all.
Frankenstorm came along and absolved me of my guilt. I’m not minimizing Sandy’s devastating effects to so many. We were blessed and the impact here was just inconvenience. I couldn’t work on the computer, therefore it was beyond my power. (See what I did there?)
Oh sure, I was frustrated. All my good intentions to pound out more prep! As I relaxed into the windy night, I remembered something important. NaNo can also be fun. What? That’s right, you heard me: FUN. For heaven’s sake, I have a general outline for each of six acts of the novel as well as those five pages of scene notes. I have my comfortable Word. Why all the agita?
I face this last day before the first long night of NaNo at ease. I’m doing some prep today, but it has only to do with creature comforts for the coming month. The more I think about past NaNos, the more I recall how much I appreciated the little things, like my fingerless gloves and knowing there was enough flavored coffee creamer, being sure there was food so my guys didn’t go Lord of the Flies on me. (I’m not kidding about the fingerless gloves. Even a cheap pair with the tips snipped off. Trust me on this.)
Is there such a thing as too much prep? Perhaps only if it saps the creative spirit from the process. Maybe NaNo2013 will find me fully prepped and yet eagerly awaiting the midnight bell. NaNo2012 has me prepped enough – but more importantly, tugging on the reins. Bring it, NaNo!