NaNo certainly teaches you to acquire the habit of writing daily, but more importantly, it demands you switch off that annoying internal editor so you can just write. There’s no wondering if you've chosen the correct word or phrase. None of this going back and deleting paragraphs that were sheer brilliance yesterday and yet today looks like absolute drivel (and sound worse). No telling yourself the words you've written aren't worth the ink you wrote them with either. You just sit down, start writing and watch that tally soar. So far, my word count is on track but come the first of December, well, I imagine my internal editor will return with friends and a ‘to delete’ list. At least I know that with the more drafts that I do and the more I improve, that internal editor will have less to do.
It helps, I think, that I write my stories longhand. I listen to the sounds of nature outside my window, my kids either proclaiming their ever-changing feelings for each other and whatever blend of background noise has joined the competition. There’s no sitting at the computer with a finger hovering over the delete button. And no distraction of Facebook either (boy am I guilty of that one). I don’t listen to any specific music as I’m writing either, but when you’re in the zone; you don’t hear a thing anyway – especially the kids fighting. ;)
November has been a busy month. In addition to NaNo, I helped a couple of special family members celebrate birthdays, attended a ‘Getting Published’ workshop and took great pleasure in watching the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who.
There isn't a baker on the planet who’d consider my efforts as competition when it comes to cake decorating, but I had a brief to follow and I did my best to comply. With two family members sharing the same birthdate, we normally have a combination birthday cake. This year I had a request for a ‘Batman’ cake and a butterfly cake. Not a combination one would consider compatible, right. Well, I did my best and while they were very kind about the questionable decorating, everyone agreed the cake was delicious, which I'm going to take as the sign of a job well done.
Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright hosted the Australian Authors Association ‘Getting Published’ workshop and I was under no illusion that the hard work stopped once the words ‘The End’ appeared. I just didn’t realise just how many more steps were involved in the process of publishing. Besides the obvious points of whom to approach and did I need an agent there are so many other things to consider. How legal and binding are contracts and do they negate any of my rights as a writer? Are there allowances for the change of technology? In the past, contracts didn’t allow for the possibility of turning books into movies. The sharing of stories and the medium in which they’re utilised could go in so many directions in the future. Then there are the legalities and your rights working with a publisher and your choices when that relationship isn’t working. There were points mentioned I hadn’t even considered, didn’t even know about. It’s clear I need to know more about the publishing world BEFORE I am published (staying positive, folks.) :)
And then there’s Doctor Who. I’ve been a fan of the series since I was a small child. I’ve been terrified, exhilarated, sad and mad, sometimes all in the one episode or storyline. I grew up waiting for the T.A.R.D.I.S. to land in my front yard and whisk me away on many a grand adventure. When the good doctor didn’t appear (because he was busy saving the world, obviously) I turned to my books and the over abundant imagination that has always been in ready supply.
I watched the special with my family (passing the love on to the next generation) from the edge of my seat in rapturous glee. Now I’ve never had the urge to try script writing but if I did, Doctor Who would be my ultimate goal. Just to sit around the table and listen to the team of writers as they verbalised their ideas would be an unimaginable thrill. In truth, I think I’d be too in awe to write anything but oh the possibilities and daydreams that would be running around in my head. :)
Well, just a few days left of NaNo and I can already hear that little editor (and friends) calling so I’d best get back to it. One last thing, a little something from my favourite ‘doctor’ – would you like a jelly baby? :)