Good Reasons Not To Write

Or, How Not To Complete NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo happened in November as it does every year, and once again tens of thousands of WriMers wrote millions of words to achieve their individual target of 50,000 words or more. Personally, I failed abysmally and barely got started. That’s ok though, because I found there were other things I wanted to focus on, instead of churning out 50,000 amateurish words without a real goal in mind.

50,000 words is too much to practice writing. Good typing practice tho

I did think a lot about what it is to write, while otherwise occupied, and came up with an interesting analogy. I started to think of creating a novel as much like creating a patchwork quilt. A novel is a collection of moments or sequences, spun together to create a larger piece of work. Some writers create incredibly intricate and detailed work, skillfully making the smaller pieces into a whole with a clever plot or premise. Others can choose to create short exciting pieces which stand alone, or a lengthy focused story that has no plot outside its narrative.

Realising that making myself a ‘patchwork quilt’ before practicing making either the patches or how to sow them together properly was largely pointless, I happily gave up on my NaNoWriMo target. I did have a writer’s epiphany before that, and heard some kind of narrators voice. In fact I realised who two of my main characters would be, saw their personalities and attitudes emerge from the mist, and just hadn’t got round to deciding a plot to put them in!

I don't make patchwork quilts for the record

So I will not be making a patchwork quilt just yet. I will keep practicing on the patches, but for now I’m happy with my progress in other directions. Goals are great, but when they don’t quite fit, you have to change them. In the game of life, you can make your own rules, and break them when you need to as well.

What I did do was pay attention to my online presence and the various avenues for placing my future works. Learning how to use Twitter, Facebook Pages, WordPress, Flickr, and all the rest effectively is time consuming, but will be worth it eventually. I spent a little time exploring GIMP and Inkscape to make new banners and backgrounds for my blog (which still need work), and played around with the impossibly large number of ways to turn an ordinary photo into a psychedelic masterpiece of surrealism and introspection.

This is just one 'photochrome' effect, I dont think I saved any of the really scary stuff...

Starting some travel in late December, photography has been another focus, and I’ve been trying to learn how to use all the features of my DSLR. Bitter disappointment set in when a programmable timer I ordered from Amazon turned out not to fit my camera, and nor was there one that would. Its seems my Sony A380 is an entry-level DSLR and has its limits. This is something I won on an ‘entertainment shopping’ (i.e. gambling) site, so I can’t complain, but buying a new camera wasn’t in my budget this month either! My new tripod is paying dividends tho.

Anyway, onwards and upwards! Hopefully some good quality content for you soon.

Petey P

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6 comments on “Good Reasons Not To Write

  1. Very good post. I agree to some point. Its very difficult to write that many words, and it can be hard to become disciplined to do so. I wish all the best and look forward to reading more of your posts.

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