Nano-itis: The Writing Madness


My Dear Reader~

You may or may not have noticed a considerable lack in blog posts recently.  I would like to explain.  I am currently in the middle of some kind of mental breakdown called NaNoWriMo.

November is National Novel Writing Month and I have once again lost my mind.  It’s such a huge undertaking.  50,000 words in one month.  It can drive you mad.  It is driving me mad!  I can think of nothing else.  I only want to write.  And when I can’t write, it’s torture.  I have a word count to keep up.  It is slipping behind and I can’t afford to write blogs this month.  I have to save all my words for my novel!  These words feel like a waste since they aren’t in my novel.

I am only writing now because I am patiently banging my head against a wall in my novel.  It seems so frivolous now.  I’m not sure how I’m going to get from point A to point B and point C hasn’t been invented yet.  I can tell my characters are flat.  They have nothing more than a name and an occupation.  They don’t even have physical characteristics yet.  I don’t know if they ever will.  I want to quit.  Quitting is easy.  Staying quit is hard.

For example, I have quite smoking hundreds of times. Cigarettes are stupid.  I want one right now.  I haven’t smoked in over a week.  I’ve had maybe 6 cigarettes all month.  I want to smoke non-stop.  I want to write non-stop.  I want a novel in 30 days.  It’s illogical.  It’s consuming my life.  I am writing every day, but my word count is far off from where I need to be.  I’m not sure that I have a 5000 word day in me.  I need one. Or two.

I have written almost 20,000 words, but my novel seems lost.  It is clearly not yet fully formed.  Sort essays and fiction are so much faster.  I have been so good about my short articles lately.  The novel feels like a rock on my chest.  My head is in a vice.  I really want to write a readable novel.  I want to write something that somebody wants to read.  But now I am doubting that anybody would want to read about haunted jewel heists.  On an airplane.  Which incidentally, I haven’t flown on in a long time. Not even in this century.  I want so badly to be a reliable narrator.

I want to be accurate and it kills me.  It’s my own made up world, and yet I demand complete accuracy in my stories.  I need the make and model of the plane.  The exact size of the container needed to release the sleeping gas.  I can’t make that up.  I want it real.  Who knows why I do it to myself.  My husband tell me to just leave it alone all the time.  It’s my world, I don’t have to make these places based in reality.  They don’t have to real towns and planes and airports.  And yet, I researched Piper planes and history for hours.  Since they were built in Pennsylvania for years it fits perfectly into my Pennsylvanian novel.  When I could have just written about an invented plane: The Delta Flyer…  *wink to my trekkies*

These are all excuses to not write though.  I just need to finish the story.  Just write it out, my friend Julia Cameron would say.  Editing comes much later.  My novel has a beginning.  There is some middle.  But there is no end in sight.  This essay is almost over.  I’ve almost filled one page.  That’s right where I like to keep my blog posts.  I don’t like to read long post online, for personal reasons.  I take that into account when I write.  One page is short and sweet and my novel is 30 pages in and I’m over my head, over my head.  That’s what The Fray song keeps telling me over and over again in my head, in my head.  (It would be posted here but I can’t afford to pay for it.)  Music does and does not help me write. But I tend to play things on repeat.  I don’t want to be in over my head, over my head.  I want to push off the bottom and swim like mad for the surface.

I will not quit writing my novel.  Silly novels are still novels.  And my pharmacist friend did confirm nitrous oxide would work…Don’t expect to hear from me again until December.  November has possessed me.

Sincerely, Yours in Writing Madness,




Filed under Essays, Non-fiction

3 responses to “Nano-itis: The Writing Madness

  1. Mary-Ellen

    Abby is doing the same!

  2. Good luck Abby! I hope we both survive!!

  3. Pingback: Nano Survival 2013-Day 18- Tempted to Quit? Here are 4 ideas to help… | After Writer Dreams...

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