As part of my NaNoWriMo Halo Giveaway, I offered all of the folks who signed up a chance to write a guest post for How Not To Write. I think you’ll be amazed as I was at the variety of people who have submitted posts. I know I am. I’m also proud to share their words here and I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a comment. — Jamie
A Writing Fear and A Lot Of Rambling
Who is this? Keep on reading!
I should really start by introducing myself, but I don’t think I will. One of the beauties of writing is that you can ignore the ‘rules’ whenever you want, or at least I believe you can, and do regularly.
So did anyone see the National Television Awards recently? (If you’re not from the UK, think any awards show such as Oscars, Grammies, and MTV Movie Awards etc.) Barely anyone won who I thought should have. (The Paul O’Grady Show? Eastenders? Strictly Come Dancing!) It wasn’t overly interesting either, but I watched it anyway. (I promise I have a point here!) And news that David Tennett’s leaving Dr Who in 2010! I swear I heard that somewhere before, but anyway…
When anyone won an award, they went up there and acted all shocked that they’d won, and thanked everyone, as if they hadn’t prepared what to say, when they most likely had and were probably expecting to win. (There’s the odd genuine person, but come on!) That’s kind of what I’m doing here. I mean, I haven’t won anything and I don’t have anyone to thank (except Jamie for being awesome and offering out the halos and being a great twitterer! Thanks Jamie!). So the similarities are where? Well I believe they’re everywhere. Not just in this post, but also in lots of things I write: occasional blog posts, tweets, NaNoWriMo and even things I say. I’m not very confident at speaking my opinion, so I’ll plan out what I’ll say again and again before actually saying it. That’s exactly what I do with writing; I half planned this blog post out like last week. (For if I won, and got to post one, I mean) I suppose that is my main writing fear: rambling, making no sense, and being laughed at. It’s a lack of confidence issue.
With NaNoWriMo, that disappears. Mainly because I only have 30 days to write 50,000 words: there’s no time for pre-planning or thinking! (I mentioned it earlier, but I meant in the capacity of before Nov. 1st, when I can’t write.) Yet it’s because of more than that. It’s because everyone is in the same boat. Because no-one has to read it apart from me. Because reaching 50k will be an achievement even if it’s rubbish. (Notice the positive, I will not I might!) And because there will be people who don’t reach 50k or who’s novel is worse than mine or who aren’t happy with their novel. Therefore it doesn’t matter how bad my writing is, and there is no need to feel self-conscious. Or if there was, there no longer is, as I think I’ve convinced myself… maybe!
Despite all the above, I will feel self-conscious. I will worry whether my plot is going anywhere, and I will wonder whether I should scrap the whole thing. I will pre-plan. (Probably during hours of sleep, or supposed sleep) I will also attempt to fit 25 random phrases into my novel. (I’m looking forward to the challenge! Try it: write some random words/phrases and challenge a friend to use them!) I will think, and I will ramble or make no sense. I won’t do it because I don’t believe all the reasons in the paragraph above, and I won’t do it because of anything else unique. I’ll do it because that is what NaNoWriMo is made of. The basis of all good NaNovels is fear, struggles, almost giving up, rambling and not making sense. In spite of that, they are also made of fun, breakthroughs, succeeding, not giving up, conciseness and making sense.
Sure, I might not be the best judge, considering this is only my second year and last year I gave up and I failed miserably with around 4000 words. If you want, don’t just take my word for it. Take a peek at the forums or ask a more experienced Wrimo. I’m pretty sure they’ll agree with me though, it’s been tried and tested successfully! No matter how much caffeine, how well outlined your plot is, how long you spend writing, there’s a high chance you’ll see that for yourself, if you haven’t already.
I think that is pretty much all I have to say. It was really fun to write this, so I probably should write on my own blog more… I won’t though, trust me! If you’re attempting NaNoWriMo this year, good luck! If you happen to have the same confidence issue as me, don’t worry about it! (I mean you can if you want, but I don’t!) And if you survived reading this all, congratulations!
Oh and by the way, my name is Vicky and I’m a fourteen-year-old NaNoWriMo attempter from England. My NaNoWrimo account can be found here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/205261 so feel free to buddy me! My Twitter account is @vickyness and finally, thanks for reading my guest post!
P.S. One final note, at time of finishing writing, there is 1 hour 50 minutes until NaNoWriMo officially starts! I’m seriously scared now!