Posted by: rationalpsychic | Sunday, November 16, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Cheaper than a psychologist

I haven’t been posting here for a while. I usually apologize for that. This is one time when it would be wrong for me to apologize.

Sometimes when I skip posting here, it’s because I’m utterly devoid of anything to say. Then there are times when it’s based on an intuition, a feeling that I need to do something other than blogging. This has been my feeling lately: there’s something else I need to be doing.

It’s not earth-shattering, it’s been National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. And as I’ve written away and found myself incapable of meeting the 1667 word per day average I’ve learned that I could produce about 800 words a day easily. That’s averaging out the days when my kids have been over for the weekend. And on those days neither I or the computer get more than ten minutes to do any noveling.

I think that it’s taught me the difference between writing for others as opposed to writing for myself. The blog is definitely a format that I not only want to share with others it’s a format in which I am writing for others.

When I’m writing the novel on NaNoWriMo I’m writing for myself. It’s obvious that I’d like to come up with something publishable by starting this process. At the end of November I know I will not have something ready to typeset and go to print. But, I have already written 10,000 words that I didn’t know I had in me.

Every time I sit down to write on my novel I have a basic idea of a scene or a piece of dialog that I want to write down or begin with. What is amazing about engaging in this process is that a whole lot of other stuff tumbles onto the screen after I get the initial sentence or two written.

I’m not used to trusting myself. That’s why I so often write with the idea, first and foremost, that I am trying to write for publication or to please others or to show others that I am…what? The mask of potential author is what I think I’m trying to put on. Maybe I’ll get published. Maybe you’ll write me nice comments which become the equivalent of publication for my ego.

The longer writing I’m doing with NaNoWriMo is about me taking the time and effort to define my edges. It’s a process in which I need to discover not just who I am but what I am. Dishonest is the feeling I have right now. I’ve been asking all you to love me when I didn’t care much for what I see in myself.

And that’s where I still am today. I will write on here again from time to time. I’m going to make an effort to write selfishly from now on. I’ll screw up I’m sure and write some things that are merely showboats to make me feel better. But I imagine that there will be more consistent effort on my part to find out where I end and my projected audience begins.

When I don’t take care of myself I beg you to do it for me. I hate that about myself and it will be a while before I root it out. I’m starting, though, and it’s scary but promises a different ending than the one I was writing for myself earlier.



  1. I think it’s excellent that you’re getting so much out of NaNoWriMo. Writing for oneself really is the most satisfying thing to do. I hope you find what you need and get a lot of good words down by the end of the month. Good luck writing.

  2. Hey, keep writing!!!

  3. You are doing what all good writers and thinkers do: Reflecting the process.

  4. And the pen continues to flow… godspeed on your mission!

  5. Hey brother — where are you?

  6. I’m in the ether. I’m putting together an application for the MFA program in Creative Writing here at MSU-M. Care to write a letter of recommendation?

    Thanks for asking, Carson!

  7. While we are taking on the topic of NaNoWriMo: Cheaper than a psychologist The Rational Psychic, Disasters, conflicts and wellness issues have severe psychosocial consequences. The emotional wounds may well be much less visible than the destruction of homes and physical infrastructure, but it normally takes far longer to recover from the emotional and psychological impact than to overcome the material losses.

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