Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's Up With NaMeWriMo?

I've removed the counter I had in the sidebar for my mini-NaMeWriMo, where I was going to write 20,000 words of a memoir. If you remember, I was going to just write whatever came to mind, just a series of scenes. I was going to complete some of the writing exercises from various books I have.

But I crashed. I had time to do it at various points of the month, but I lacked the drive. What I realized is that I can't write for writing's sake. Years ago, I was at a writing workshop where we started by talking about our writing fantasies. For most people, it was some variation of, "I want to get paid to write whatever I want." I can't remember what I said, but I remember thinking that was not my fantasy at all.

It may be an odd thing to say, but I don't have anything general that I want to say to the world. I mean, if a magazine were to say, "Give us two thousand words on any topic and in any style," I could produce something good. But I can't see making a life out of that. I like assignments. I like working around certain boundaries and parameters. I like challenges. "Write a thousand words about topic X that incorporates elements A and B." That kind of thing gets me excited.

My point is that I couldn't produce 20,000 words without some sense of direction. And I couldn't give myself that direction right now. I know, cry me a river. Many people would love to have time to write. But I need more than that.

I'm not sure what to do now to find that push or drive. I have some ideas, and I think I need to work through a few other things first. But that's where my head is at.

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