Wednesday, November 5, 2008


On November 1st, I wrote three things: a quickie blog post, a grocery list, and the first 2300 words of a new novel. Of these, I feel that the the novel comes in a distant third in terms of being interesting reading.

I am excited by my ideas. And I'm good at marketing; I can sell them to myself as stories I want to hear, want to write. But. When I'm writing, I'm sometimes bored. Which is weird and surprising to me. Writers are supposed to looooove the actual writing. I myself have always enjoyed writing. I'm energized by it and feel great when I've done it - like exercise - but I'm not always excited by the process itself lately.

This is especially strange because later, rereading, I'm sometimes very happy with what I've written. And the reactions I've gotten have been positive. So what's that all about?

Maybe it's just because a) I'm perpetually exhausted, and b) the stories take a little longer to type than they do to appear in my head, or even to read, so that they don't feel quite as "fresh" when I am typing them out. But I didn't really have this problem with the NaNo novel I wrote last year.

Another interesting difference between this year's NaNo and last, for me, is the pace. I remember sitting at the kitchen table typing and typing, checking my word count and finding 2000 still a huge distance away, getting more snacks and coffee, then plugging away some more. By now, however, I'm much more practiced at the craft, I guess, and 2000 word segments come naturally for me. Perhaps this has been part of my transition from being a short story writer (a form I continue to enjoy) and writing longer works of fiction.

I know that the conventional wisdom is that you should write what you read. That makes sense to me. But I'm not sure it works for me. I definitely read literary fiction. But some of the books I've been most passionate about have been from other genres, lots of other genres. I don't often read romance or westerns, but I read pretty much everything else. And sometimes, when I'm looking for fun and distraction, literary fiction is not my first grab.

But it's definitely where the writing feels most interesting, easy, and fun, for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment