As we approach the final hours of this last day in March . . . I am reminded that tomorrow the April A to Z Challenge officially kicks off, and in my typical procrastinator fashion, I have waited until literally seconds before the challenge is set to begin to reveal my theme.
Truth be told, I didn’t think I would even participate this year. I haven’t been able to finish much of anything lately, and the last thing I want to do is get you invested in a set of characters, hooked into a series of stories, only to disappear off the map, right at the climax of it all, and leave you hanging—not even off a cliff, just in midair—desperate for a way down, frantically seeking a resolution.
Such has become my custom as I wrestle with this nasty beast called writer’s block—an on-going battle I’ve been dealing with since the end of April last year.
But enough wallowing in my own self-pity! I have an uncle who calls himself a writer too (we all have that one family member, right?) and every time I see him, he always has one question for me: “Published anything new?” An innocent question for the most part, but sometimes I feel he’s mocking me, because he already knows what my answer will be, and quite frankly, I’m sick of telling him no.
So while sulkily scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago, I came across a picture that really lit a fire under my ass.
If I ever want to get back on the wagon and return to being the prolific writer and blogger I was at this time a year ago, I have to write something, anything. It doesn’t even have to be good, but at least I’m making an effort.
Which is why I’m taking a NaNoWriMo approach to this year’s A to Z Challenge. No, I will not be writing a 50,000 word novel in 26 days, instead I’ll be planning out a novel idea that has been brewing on the brain for several months now. Backstory, character sketches, outlines, maybe a few deleted scenes—anything and everything to help me formulate a plan of attack going into NaNoWriMo this November, where I hope to write and complete my first novel (because I have a ton of unfinished ones collecting megabyte dust on my hard drive).
As for that perfectionist editor bitch in me, who’s had a time deleting everything I attempt to write (even this very post, which I had to sleep on for a night because her perfectionist editor bitch finger was hovering over the backspace button), she’s getting shipped off to Timbuctoo, or a work camp on the frozen tundra of Siberia. She has no place here. The goal is to start. Simply start.
I have no title, not even a synopsis, just an idea, an image I hope to flesh out as I trudge down recovery road back from writer’s block. You may not like it. Hey, you may even hate it, but I’m seeking no one else’s approval but my own. What’s more important for me is to actually start and finish something I can be proud of. The editing part will come later. Much, muuuuuch later. So who else is joining the A to Z Challenge? Link me your blog and I’ll try to follow your posts! They changed the rules on us this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how much participation we get. Nevertheless, my only concern right now is my own participation. A friendly reminder from one of my favorite movies…
Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing, writing, writing…