Talent is cheap.
What matters is discipline.
We are over halfway through the month of September (and we have dined nine times at Rosings!) and, as Abigail and I are going to be at the beach for a week in October, for us, at least, November is going to be here before we know it. Commence warning tremors of panic. Abigail has put her upcoming novel Tempus Regina on stand-by, waiting to tackle it during the rush of NaNoWriMo. While I have participated at least once in NaNo, I don't think I ever began a novel during the month of November.
I cheated. Yes, I cheated. Whatever novel I was working on - I think it must have been Between Earth and Sky at the time - I did not begin it on Day One of November. And I am going to do the same thing this year. November 1st I am going to open up Plenilune, same as I always do, and launch another 50,000 words forward into the plot by the time my birthday (November 30th) rolls around. I am currently approaching the crux of the plot (I thought the day would never come in sight!) and I am eager to find where the 50,000 words of November put me in the plot.
But while I like to bend the rules, I don't like to break them. The whole point of NaNo is to get people who would like to write a novel to actually sit down and write. My character (myself, I mean, not Margaret) lacks discipline. I love writing. I love the heady sense of fire etching events on the page before my eyes. I love the sudden bloom of foreshadowing, the splicing dark-and-light of the moral gamble, the tumble of some thousand years' worth of philosophical and theological thought falling into the minds and events of my characters and story. It is simply too much thrill not to love it. And yet I lack discipline. If I am disinclined to write, I don't always sit down to do it. If I am a little stuck the mole-hill may easily be made into a mountain. It is a plight, I am sure, which you have experienced before. So I bend the rules - but I don't break them. I will be starting NaNo with an enormous wordcount, but the wordcount before November 1st I won't give weight to, and the prizes offered the winners (here is assuming I cross the finish line) I will not partake in. That would not be fair. But they are not the point! Plenilune is treasure enough for me. And so I will be one of the number of eager, frightened little creatures working November 1st to write 50,000 words in a month. But you cannot count on me to start writing at midnight on the last day of October. I am not that beside myself with insanity.
Skander crossed to the window and stood by her, looking out on the scene. Through the heavy grey light and wind-surf noise came back the sound of dogs barking; the hawthorns were bare, the barberry wind-stripped; clouds lay thick in the lower parts of Seescardale and obscured the view within a few miles.
How I love the autumn! Mirriam (to whom I have been sending shards and chunks and untidy skeins of writing) has informed me that my writing is best read in autumn - which is gratifying, as I swear it is autumn in my heart all year long. There is a cool cleanness in the air which sweeps away the muggy sluggishness of summer and lets the brain work freely. I think many of us are like-minded in this regard. I am looking forward to NaNo and I am sure you are too. If you do not follow Abigail's blog, I do want to refer you to an excellent post she just put up for NaNo and organizing one's time during November: A Novel Month.
November is coming. God willing, I'll see you there!