It's A New Year, And I'm Feeling Good - Dangerously Genocidal


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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

It's A New Year, And I'm Feeling Good

HAPPY 2015!

It's been a while since my last post, and those of you who pushed through NaNoWriMo probably understand why. November was NaNoWriMo, and after that, just about any kind of writing is too much for to handle in our sensitive states. Especially when it comes to the horrors we'd forced ourselves to finish during November. Novels that we hope never to see again. But I've come to an amazing realization!

You see, December for WriMo's is almost...cursed. You start the month off on a tired 'high', feeling proud that you've managed a novel, but exhausted from the constant pushing. But now you know you can write! That is, until you go back to read a little bit of what you've written.

There is no faster way to put a damper on the aforementioned high than trying to read your NaNo Novel. It's horrible. No matter how you look at it or squint at the pages, every single page, paragraph and sentence is an atrocity! A damnation! A blight on novels everywhere! Not one thing is salvageable. And in that moment you want nothing more than to press the delete button and never look at it again. If you managed to resist that first impulse, you probably shoved that first draft so far into the storage of your computer drive that it would take an expert hacker years to get to it.

And so, for the rest of the month, you don't write. We don't even think about writing. Heck, you even hide the book on your nightstand in the back of the drawer. The written word becomes your greatest enemy, and you can't help but wonder why you decided to write in the first place. You're obviously no good at it.

Slowly December goes by. You start to feel a bit better. Finally you can pick up that book you were reading again. You don't shudder when you look at the keyboard any more. And finally, the nightmares start to fade. Christmas comes and goes, and finally, the new year arrives. And with it comes the realization that it's time to go dig out that horrible first draft. No matter how quickly you've recovered from the 'Post NaNo December Blues', you're still going to feel that chill down your back as you go dig it up.

Your heart beats faster as you open up the document, and after a few seconds the first page comes into view. And finally, after weeks of cold sweats, chills and despair, you stare at the pages of the very document that haunted your dreams. You start to read... and suddenly you realize that it's not quite as bad as it was before. Sure, it still needs a LOT of work. But there are salvageable parts. Paragraphs - whole pages even!

And slowly we start to fall back in love with the story that we spent four weeks writing. We start to remember how much we cared for it, how much effort, time, blood, sweat and tears went into it, and you start to see the beauty in it again.

The point here is that nothing is ever as bad as it seems at first, especially not when it comes to writing. We are our own worst critics, and the worst time for us to look at our novels is just after we've finished them. But looking at them with fresh new eyes, you can quickly start finding the beautiful bits again, all those little treasures amongst the dung.

It's time, my friends. Dig up those NaNo novels and start reworking them. Face your fears, take a leap of faith - you'll be the better for it! And who knows, you might just find the diamond hiding in the rough of your first draft!

1 comment:

  1. nice thought. I won't touch mine for several more months. I'm revising a much older novel. The longer I can take between drafts, the more ruthless I can be with revision.

    Good luck with yours!


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