Nothing Is Wasted – That Old NaNo Update
I promised an update after NaNoWriMo, didn’t I? And now it’s been nearly a month since I wrote my fifty thousand words, and I still haven’t written anything. A lot of things got put on the back-burner for November, and so December has been pretty busy. I didn’t find a lot of time to set aside for contemplating the nature of my chaotic little manuscript, and how to move forward with it. Although I’d been meaning to break my habit of adopting overly ambitious story ideas, and then getting stalled trying to solve them…
Well, that was the situation I found myself in, completely unintentionally. I had set out with a handful of sketchy characters and locations, a vague idea of a secondary plot, and fully intending to write as self-indulgently as I knew how. Though those good intentions carried me all the way through November, by the end of the month, all the skepticism I’d managed to shove down under the floor-boards came back up again. I found myself with a manuscript that I had very much enjoyed writing… but was convinced it was completely unreadable.
No words are ever lost. That’s one of the first things that I needed to learn in order to persevere in writing. Stories that never get finished, that never see the light of day, still have value. They are the words that I needed to get through, before I could reach the stories that I was prepared to tell. For fifty thousand words over the course of a month, I trained myself to write unflinchingly about subjects that I had only ever danced around before. In particular, I wanted to get myself used to writing with third gender pronouns.
It’s a little bit absurd that I find it more difficult to write about nonbinary-gendered characters than about women, or men. I think I might’ve mentioned that before. But the subject is a deeply personal one, and like a lot of personal subjects that makes it much more difficult for me to address directly. Commensurately, the difficulty also makes it more rewarding. It’s not a subject matter that I intend to drop anytime soon, so perhaps NaNoWriMo did provide me with a little of the courage that I was lacking.
I don’t know if I’ve written all the words I need to get through in order to tell this story. I do know that I’m not prepared to sit down and tell it right now. As I turn my sight back onto other projects that have lay dormant for the past several weeks, I have time to let the soup of ideas rest at the back of my mind and percolate. Next time I sit down to write this story, I intend to be prepared.
Crossposted to Dreamwidth.