It’s the third week of NaNoWriMo and I’d like to give a big thanks to guest blogger Fanni Suto. Thanks again Fanni and for sharing her past, present and future with writing and NaNoWriMo. 😀
Although I’m not a great astrology fan, there is a grain of truth in their archetypes. For example, when I read the description of a Gemini, I got the uneasy feeling that the writers stalked me when they put their description together. I’m all that is written there: curious, enthusiastic, talkative but I also have the attention span of a goldfish. There are just too many things in the world to write about… and I want to do it all and at the same time. I have at least five-six novels in my head and I spend so much time running to and fro among them that I don’t have energy to actually write them.
I set out to participate in the NaNo 2013 knowing that it would be one of the biggest challenges I had ever faced. 50 000 words from the same story seemed an unattainable amount but, as with my high school crushes, I was inspired by things out of reach. What is more, the promised glory was so alluring it eclipsed all my fears. The prizes, the Facebook cover picture I could use to show off my great achievements, but most importantly the opportunity to prove to myself that there is hope for me. If I kicked myself in the butt, I could squeeze out enough words to make up a novel.
To make things slightly more difficult, I started my first real, full-time job on the 28th of October. I was to bite into two big pies at the same time. I had the idea for the novel and I had some sketches already but I just didn’t have the strength to sit down and write a story from beginning to end. My novel writing methodology is the following: I have a vague synopsis in my head and I write random scenes from random points of the timeline. More often than not, the end is ready before the middle. I feel imprisoned by linearity and that’s how I’m rebelling.
I rolled up my sleeves and accepted the challenge. If I want to have kick-ass characters who can battle the whole world and come over every conflict I send in their way, I should start with triumphing over myself. I wrote everywhere. I wrote on the suburban train, I wrote on the tram typing hysterically into my phone. I blanked out in work drawing up plot lines and exchanged pep talks with my sisters in arms.
It was difficult at first but when I saw that it was not impossible to write regularly, it got better and better. Writing is like working-out: it takes an awful lot of determination to begin, your subconscious tries to convince you that it’s tiring and painful. But if you tie your hair up in a ponytail and listen to the Eye of the tiger long enough, you’ll be surprised to find the strength within. After regular practice it feels like a piece of cake and you feel that you could move mountains with your energy.
Sadly, as soon as I braved through the 30 days of writing and managed to finish the wished word count, all the other stories I’d been neglecting sniffed out my weakness and jumped on me with all their might. They all demanded to be written now and at once. I spent most of the following year running from story to story and praying for November to come and help me to settle with one.
In November, 2014 I started to write an alternative history Young Adult story and I had no idea whatsoever where I was going with it. Sometimes I was taken over by panic and felt sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish. That year I discovered the power of write-ins and meeting other brave writers. I didn’t talk a lot with them but just the fact that we were writing in the same coffee shop working towards the same goal helped me a lot. My advice for everyone is that if there is a NaNo community somewhere near you, try to meet them and let them inspire you.
Last year I failed NaNo because I changed country and job yet again and there was just too much stress. But I tried. I typed in my phone on the nightmarish rush-hour train, I tried to re-animate myself when I got home sometimes around nine and tried to squeeze out some more words. After a while I realized it was not going to happen. It was difficult to let the project go but Nano is as much about fun as much it’s about work and if it doesn’t give you joy any more, you should consider putting it aside.
This year I’m full of hope. I stocked up on coffee, I made notes for my story, I started making new Nano-friends. Finally I have everything I need to succeed and I feel that in this November I’m going to be unstoppable.
Good luck and good work everyone, may the word count be ever in your favour!
You can follow Fanni Suto on her: