My Internal Editor has a voice that cuts glass. She routinely shrieks at me: wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
This is why I found her a great deal on a month long cruise to… anywhere but here.
You see, the fun has gone out of writing. I used to write and listen to myself giggle. Lately, all I hear are sighs. Just between you and me, I think Ms. I.E. may have something to do with that. The harder I work, the more she shakes her head, clucks her tongue and smacks that ruler against the desk.
Yikes, that sound scares me.
When I looked up at my calendar and noticed that National Novel Writing Month was fast approaching, I gently but firmly encouraged her to take a little vacation.
NaNoWritMo is an event that started many years ago with a bunch of story-loving, Silicon Valley, smarty-pants types. It’s fun. It’s ridiculous. It produces the best marketing/informational/encouragement letters I’ve ever read. To join the fun, you pledge to write 50 thousand words in one month. (That’s the length of Tom Sawyer.)
You get regular messages where people encourage you to meet your goal, play along, try again, don’t give up, and just plain enjoy writing. (Last year, my favorite letter of encouragement came from Lemony Snicket. He began by saying: quit immediately and ended with a passionate defense of the healing power of story.)
How do you write 50 thousand words in a month? Well, I’ll tell you right now, you can’t stop and craft every damn sentence, that’s for sure. You have blast out the words.
In the words of one of my favorite pop-culture mages: don’t think, do.
There is a scientific basis to this kind of exercise. Using intuition to make a decision within your “area of expertise,” turns out to be a fairly accurate way of making effective decisions. Or in this case: good work.
Makes sense, really. If you’ve amassed hours of study and practice at something, your auto-pilot for that activity is going to be fairly skillful. You won’t necessarily need the kind of careful double-checking that you did when you first began.
NaNo starts the first day of November.
I got a fabulous deal on a ticket to cruise for Ms. Internal-Editor. She’s going to have a great time advising her fellow cruise members all about Dining Room Rules and organizing safety drills. I can’t wait to hear about her adventures when she gets back at the end of the month.
Or possibly later.
Cruise ships give their biggest discounts during hurricane season, you know.