Saturday, 27 October 2012

This! Is! NANO!

My output since August has been nil.

I'm talking of course about my writing. In every other aspect of my life my output has been gradually creeping up as my creativity is forced to a halt. Seventeen football matches played in eleven weeks is just one area I've been losing writing time to. Then there's attendance at a new church, and going to their Wednesday night course. Throw in the 40-hour work weeks and you'll be starting to get an overall picture of why I've allowed myself to fall out of practice.

But November starts next week, and with November comes Nanowrimo, the annual writing event. 50,000 words in 30 days sounds a challenge at the best of times, but when I get at most one night a week to myself (and when on that night I really want to collapse into bed with a good book rather than worry about my own output) it's going to be near-impossible. But I'm doing it anyway. I have a story idea that may not get me anywhere near 50,000 words, but that's not the real point of this month for me. The point is to get myself writing again. Come 1st December I want to be looking at a reasonable quantity of good quality work that I can take forward to the rewriting and editing process, even if it's likely to never go anywhere near a publisher.

Do I have an idea? The best answer I can give to that question is 'sort of'. A few rogue concepts are kicking around in my mind, given life in no small part by my 4-day blitz on the backlog of short stories sitting on my bedside. The excellent 'Strigoi' by Lavie Tidhar (Interzone 242) and 'Sunshine' by Nina Allen (Black Static 29) are just two of the stories that I'm mulling over in my mind. Old frustrations from my months out of work last year are also at the forefront of my thinking. If I could somehow combine those concepts and put my own signature on it, I may be able to produce something.

Whatever I decide to produce I have no doubt that I'll find this year's Nano a real challenge. Constraints of time and other activities will curtail my writing time, and being out of practice will no doubt initially frustrate me. But if I stick at it, I'll be able to get something done. And it's a challenge I'm looking forward to.

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