It’s a week to go before the insanity that is NaNoWriMo kicks off–and kicks a few of us in the groin. Right now my Works in Progress are sort of on . . . well, they are done. I don’t really, at this point, have a WiP in P. I’m looking at my notes for my soon-to-be novel, more or less doing a Neo-style psych up before I have to jump off the building and write like a mad man.
You know where this is going, right? I’m driving myself crazy with what I’m going to do, am I gonna be able to keep up, am I gonna create something that’s gonna be worth while?
You know, I’m having very few of those thoughts. Yes, I’m having bad thoughts off and on, but as far as the novel to be goes, very few of them are turned in that direction. I know I have to do a little tweaking on the notes, but nothing major. I’ll knock that off this week and be ready to go to down.
But I noticed something over the weekend. When I wasn’t moping like a sick dog (yes, I was moping, what can I say?), I wondered why I wasn’t writing anything. Something, anything. I just had to do it.
But this was a strange weekend for me. Beyond this little slice of writing paradise I seemed like I was floating about with little to do. It made me feel just a little lost, because I really felt like I was wasting my time, which I was.
So what to do?
Game writing, what else?
I’ve talked about the online game I’ve done off and on since earlier in the year. Of late it’s been more “off” than the other, mostly because I’ve been doing a lot more writing (like I did with my story Kuntilanak which, you will see if you just follow that link, is now being sold at Barnes & Noble for your Nook, so what are you waiting for? Put some money in my pocket), but I still do it. Why? Because it’s good writing, because I love the characters, because I love the interaction my character has with my in-world girlfriend (yes, she is my character’s girlfriend; stop snickering), because I love the world I’ve helped create.
So I tried something different this last week. My character and my girlfriend character were out on a field trip in the deep, dark woods of Maine, and while nothing really exciting happened to us like being attacked by bears–said likelihood of that happening goes way up if you are in the wild with another person and you’re having sex with them, just in case you wanted to know–I came up with the idea: hey, instead of us talking about walking through the forrests and finding all sort of plants and seeing the trees and oohing and ahhing when we find some unicorns (Team Unicorn, if we’re lucky), why not have the people who took us out talk about the trip with other instructors? Get a little bit of an idea about what it was like from their point of view?
So since last Tuesday I’ve been writing. And writing. And I did a little more writing over the weekend–well, probably a lot more writing. So far I’ve cranked out 4700 words since last week, and it’s probably that I did about 2000 words over the weekend alone. It’s been a chore at times–you get that little niggling “Why are you doing this?” voice in the back of your head from time to time–but for the most part it’s been fun, and it’s been very engaging. And it allows me to work on characters, to think like they think, to give their point of view on something that we, as playing characters, wouldn’t normally see.
Is it worthwhile to engage in something that, for the most part, is never going to see the light of day? To spend all my time working on something that will never lead to any sort of financial benefit?
Stephen King once stated in his book Danse Macabre (of which I have a First Edition printing, yes I do) something along the lines of, “If you write because you have to do it, then you’re a writer. If you write because you are only trying to make money, then you’re a monkey”, and it’s a quote that I use a lot as well. (He also said, “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” While I haven’t yet made enough to pay the light bill, I’m close, therefore I be talented.) So I’m writing and creating not so much because I know what I’m doing will turn into great, impression, wonderful masterpiece–I’m doing it because I want to, because I feel like it.
Because I feel like I need to do this.
If I didn’t, would I come out here every day and share my thoughts?