Monday, September 28, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

I worried for a long time about what I’d do once my MFA was done. Gone is the structure of regular deadlines—writing quotas, specifically. One of the strategies I’m using is writing groups. I belong to three, each one very different from the others. One is a small poetry group that has let me join them for the past few years, though I’m not a poet. We meet only seasonally, but it’s always good. Another meets weekly, and my newest group meets monthly. What I forgot to worry about was what I’d write.

Since I finished my book and started on the Seeking of Representation, I’ve had the nagging feeling that I’ve become purposeless as well as projectless. I’d told myself when I finally finished the book I spent a decade on, I’d leave memoir behind and move on to a less personal genre, try my hand at some fiction again. But it’s like I’m working with wet wood and can’t buy a spark. And look at all those ‘I’s—maybe I’m too self-obsessed to write about anything but myself, yet oh how bored I am with that topic.

So, with no nonfiction topic setting me on fire, and really very few ideas about anything else, I decided to try something completely insane. NaNoWriMo is going to force me to write 50,000 words in a month. I’m sure I can’t do it, can’t wait to get started, and feel a little sick whenever I think about it.

It will be a month long freewrite. The good thing about such a task is that I won’t have time to think about how bad an idea is—the goal is not quality, it’s quantity. I know from experience that when I quit judging the quality of my output and just write, that sometimes good stuff sneaks itself in. I’m counting on that being true again.

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1 comment:

stephanie said...

Eh, I always write about myself. I don't think I can not write about myself.