Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm closing in on 30,000 words for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which finally brings me back up to speed with my daily word target. Clearly I am distracting myself by blogging, but I'm fairly confident I can get through today's remaining 2,700 words this afternoon. I think I will try to keep writing some over the weekend, just because it's really tough to bank out 5,000 words, several days in a row, as I'm trying to catch up.

In some ways, this year has been less fun, because usually I spend October thinking good and hard about what I would really enjoy writing. And then usually I come up with something that's fun, dramatic, emotionally evocative, whatever it is that I'm interesting in doing. This year I didn't have so much time to plan ahead. I started with the barest idea of a main character and plot, along with a list of names for supporting characters, not the usual outline I usually try to spend October creating. I'm finding it a lot tougher going, and what I'm creating is by definition less cohesive. It isn't quite so bad as a novel-length free-write, but I find I'm in a "try anything" mode. I'm working in small bites, tossing in any idea or scene that comes to me. In theory, I want to wrap everything up at the end, but perhaps it won't turn out like that at all. Maybe I will end up with a big collection of words without any cohesion, but I will still have learned things from the process.

Lately I have had a few ideas for poetry writing projects floating through my head. Of course, those are great (and I really need to be more discipline, thematic stuff I'd like to work through, or stuff inspired by some of what I'm reading right now. Unfortunately, I simply do not have the energy for an additional project right now, because I know that if I put down this novel for even a week, I'll never finish it. I'm thinking of taking January as a month where I tackle a big writing project again. Of course, it might be December, but maybe I'll need to take a little while to plan.

What I'd really love to do in January is another year with the Poetry Postcard Project. It is a list of addresses that you work your way down, sending out a poem on a postcard once a week to the next person down on the list. The list is still up of everyone's addresses, but after I did a year of it in 2009, I didn't hear a peep. Truthfully I only got 16 cards (they are all still on the wall by my desk) while I sent out 48 (I didn't quite make it to December), but I still have the 48 poems I wrote that year, and it seemed like a good reminder to write regularly.

Does anyone know if a yearlong project like that is going on anywhere?