No, I haven't, not at all. I'm still here and I'm actually enjoying myself immensely. National Novel Writing Month is in full swing and I am at it's mercy. The demanding, tortuous, lovely, hard core, daily regime of prose creation has taken over my time and my brain. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, and actually want to know, visit here.
I've written 10,227 words as of this evening at 6pm. That's 10,227 more words than I had last week. And as I said to some good friends at dinner tonight, who were kind enough to ask how the novel writing was going, I don't hate every single word that I've written. So that's a start. I had forgotten how hard fiction writing can be. I'd forgotten the immense pressure that the blank screen can bring. I had forgotten how much fun it is to be in total control of this make believe world that I have created. If I want to kill a character or make a character fall in love, I can. If things are flowing too smoothly in my protagonist's life, then it's my job, no my duty, to throw in a flesh eating disease or a vicious boss or a car accident into their lives. Conflict. Conflict drives it all. But damn it's hard. I have to write with speed and ignore the things I would sit and rework for half an hour. And at first I thought that stopping myself from editing was simply an issue of time. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days does require a certain level of speed and daily commitment. But stopping to edit what I've just written kills any momentum that I've built up. I just have to blaze on through the weak sentence structure or the awkward prepositional phrase or that bland supporting character and just keep writing. I have to just keep on writing. Because I'll get to the editing. I'll have all the time in the world after November. December will be novel editing month, but I'm guessing I'll need about ten Decembers to craft this into something I'm proud of. But I'm getting there, everyday a little closer. I'm sitting there typing through my self doubt, typing through my weak plot or my strained character development. I'm typing, I just keep on typing. And I keep typing with the hope that something good will come out of all it.
Whether that good thing is my first completed novel, or becoming a better writer and reader or just enjoying the process of getting here, I'm happy.