About a dozen or so Na No Wri Mo participants showed up to a writers' group meeting. I missed the pre-November meeting, but I figured I knew most of these folks from the emails and forum posts. It was a very fun group and I have an open mind as to how this will all develop. I have no experience with writers' groups, so have no clue whatsoever what to expect from this. This was predominantly a social affair last night, which was fun. The amazing this is that something like 10 out of the 12 from this city finished! That is absolutely amazing. I scanned the results fro some other cities and areas I used to live in, and they had very few winners. So there is something about the people in this group and the way we communicated during the month or something that helped us all succeed. So on that account alone I am hopeful for this group.
It seems like the people in the group write from a wide range of genres, which should be a strength of the group. Fanfic, fantasy, romance, erotica, mainstream, there are a wide range of writing styles and subject matter being explored. I guess I am a little worried that the group may break down into similar interests, smaller groups, I don't know. Of course, maybe subgroups is a good idea. I am trying to keep an open mind and a laid back casual Na No Wri Mo style attitude, so I am not too worried. I am hoping to get out of this someone who will hold my feet to the fire and make sure I stay on task and do not let my goals and deadlines go by. Maybe this is about quality, maybe quantity, but I want someone or a group who are there to hold me accountable.
I have a 2-day meeting tomorrow and Friday, and I am going to bring my Na No Wri Mo notebook with me. Not that company meetings are complete borefests, but I am sure there will be a few sessions that are shall we say less thrilling than others. So I expect to get some solid work done in that time.
After the meeting, I am going on a week long vacation at my parents. As a matter of fact, I am heading on vacation directly from the second day of the meeting. This time at my folks will be more quality time to do some writing. I hope to make more progress on the Na No Wri Mo novel. I would like to finish it as soon as I can. There is little that is more discouraging than a two thirds completed novel. I do not want to have an incomplete novel hanging around for long, mocking my otherwise noble November efforts.
But I am convinced that the momentum will not flag. It is the fourth day following the end of the month, and I have the itch to get back to creative work. It is similar to what I experienced after graduating from college, the first time. I vowed "I'm done with school" and "I will never go back to school" and crap like that. Then I got the second degree and again vowed "I'm done with school" and "I will never go back to school." Then I got the Masters and again vowed "I'm done with school" and "I will never go back to school." I kept going back and going back and going back, even after I said I would not. The burn was there, the desire was there, so I kept going back. So of course when the Na No Wri Mo ended, I vowed to not do an creative work for a month. But I could not do it. It is no longer that I "have to," it is that I want to. It is such a cool feeling to have that desire to write. I cannot explain it, but I want to ride the wave as long as I can, and keep my good habits going.
The writers' group gave an assignment about writing a short story (one thousand to five thousand words) for the next meeting. I am not a short story fan, either of writing them or reading them, but I will give it a whack. I am more of a novel reader, and I hope, of a novel writer, but I will think about participating in this one, for the good of the group. The assignments is to write a story that includes (or at least is based on) a fortune from a fortune cookie. The group met at a Chinese restaurant down the street from the local Borders. I did not keep my fortune, but now I realize that I probably should have. Is there an Internet site that issues fortune cookie messages? I need to find one so I will have an inspiration for a short story. Not that I am committing to write one, mind you, but I am committing to
thinking about it. For me, that is a pretty big step as it relates to short fiction.
So over my conference and vacation week, I will be doing creative work, then I'll have a few weeks at the end of the month to do my academic writing. This is critical to accomplish. I need to get this done, but the calendar is conspiring against me. So, I will take my notebooks and outlines with me on vacation and to the conference, so at least I will get some work done. I am looking forward to it. I will also do some reading. That was the worst part about Na No Wri Mo . . . I had my notebooks with me at all times to do writing, but I read almost nothing. This was not enjoyable. So the lowered daily quota and less manic approach may free up time to do some of that, as well. It is crazy to think that 1,000 words a day for five days a week seems like light, do-able work. It is slightly under half what I proved I could do, so maybe Carolyn See was right about this quota. I resisted quotas most of my life, but now see their value.
Maybe we are all (me) growing up.