Camp is sweaty work.
For one thing, I’m not particularly athletic, which is, in part, why I am composing this blog post indoors instead of being outside in the sun. I also can’t write any part of my novel without holding some kind of warm beverage in my hand, regardless of the weather; that’s thanks to November’s noveling routine rubbing off on me too much. Perhaps most of all, I’m sweating because I’m horrendously nervous to continue and finish my novel this month.
Wait, you might think, continue?
Yes, technically, I began my novel in June.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
This last June (during which I barely completed the first half of my novel, sliding under the deadline with 50,205 words of utter nonsense) was the most difficult month of my NaNo career. And why was that? After all, I had won NaNoWriMo four times before. I’d finished out my sophomore year of high school before June even began, and being a lazy bum, I didn’t have a summer job. I essentially had all 24 hours of those 30 days to myself, available for me to scrawl words all over.
Ah, I think I’ve found the problem.
Chris Baty mentions in No Plot? No Problem! that NaNoWriMo was originally held in July. Just a year later, however, it was moved to November. Finally, I completely understand why—time constraints are your friends.
Luckily for me, I’m very busy during the second half of August, what with school starting again, so I’ll have a few of those friendly time constraints. For those of you with jobs, kids, dogs, bills, parties, and crotchety relatives that require constant care, I couldn’t envy you more. It sounds odd, but really, you are a privileged few (or perhaps many).
Embrace your busywork. In the end, when you’re under a time crunch, you will be super speedy in your novel-ing (out of necessity.) Perhaps even better, the words you do write will be pure, beautiful, amazing prose from the most raw, primitive parts of your imagination.
Surprisingly, despite the occasional Neanderthal phrase in your antagonist’s rant, that core of your imagination can create stories that are as inspired as Shakespeare’s. My favorite part of this type of writing is that I’m so immersed in my novel I don’t even notice that I’m dripping in summer sweat.
Abbreviated: just go for it, regardless of how frantic you are.
I hope to be roasting marshmallows and toasting apple cider in your honor by the end.
(And don’t worry about the sweating. You’re not alone.)
— Sonja Sueker
Photo by Flickr user katerha