Hi. My name is Esmerelda and I’m a compulsive editor.

Confused you, didn’t I? LOL. The title and the first sentence go together, I promise.

This is my first year participating in National Novel Writing Month. In the past, I was too intimidated to try. I mean come on. 50,000 words in one month? As if! That is a huge undertaking and being a pantser, made no sense what so ever. What happened if I got blocked? I didn’t have an outline to help me through, just this vague idea of where I wanted the story to go. What if I run out of words? What if I wrote crap and ended wasting my time? So on and so on. It was thoughts like these that kept me from jumping right on in. I know. I totally over thought it. I’m known to do that.

So what prompted me to do it this year?

I want to change as a writer, which leads us back to my opening sentence:

Hi. My name is Esmerelda and I’m a compulsive editor.

I will write one chapter, then polish, polish, polish, before sending it off to my CP’s. Guess what happens? Four chapters later, something happens and then I have to go back and re-edit that same chapter I’d already labored over, then I could get even further into the story and what? DAMN! Sigh. Go back and change it again. A vicious cycle, I tell you. One I see as a flaw in myself as a writer. One I want to break away from because, click, click, the light bulb has finally turned on. I’m wasting time. I could have a story finished so much quicker, if I just wrote the blasted thing in one sitting, THEN went back and added in and EDITED.

So NaNoWriMo isn’t about me getting a 50,000 word first draft this year, (that will be next year). This year is about changing the way I write. I’m on day seven. Writing might be a little slow, I’ve written right at 7k, but I haven’t edited.

I will admit I feel like it is killing me. LOL. It is the hardest thing I have ever done to keep trucking along when I’ve hit a spot I know has affected another portion of the story. I have a nice little notebook sitting beside my laptop and jot down, ‘make sure to change the heroine’s reasoning for such and such.’ Or ‘this kiss needs to be pulled back on, because the kiss in Chapter 200 needs to be THE kiss.’ And so on.

I’m hoping by the end of the month, I’ve seen the advantages of just writing and embrace it. I guess time will tellJ

So anyone else Nanoing?



Natasha said...

Good luck with your NaNo! I've never tried it.

Kathy said...

This is my second year to give it a shot. I've learned to let the editor take a vacation or hike. But sigh I went back and erased all 2000 plus words I wrote in the wee hours this morning. I thought no that just isn't me lol. I wrote something close to erotica and erased it too shy to think of nay one reading it. I can write it for fun but to stick it out where anyone can read it is not there for me lol. Any of you ladies on this loop care to share how to overcome the inner voice saying that's sooooooooo bad.

Nicole North said...

Great post! I'm not NaNoing. Just wanted to say I had to teach myself to do the same thing, Esme. Writing the rough draft through to the end. It's hard but I find it works better for me in the end.

Esmerelda Bishop said...

Thanks Natasha!

Kathy, find someone you trust to read it. For me, that was the key. I had the same issue to get past, I can still remember writing with my face on fire. When you find that one person you trust who can tell you, "this isn't bad, this is HOT," then it becomes so much easier to write. Hope that helps.

Thanks Nicole. It's nice to see I'm not alone in the over editing department. I think it will work much better for me too if I can power through!

Thanks all!

Carly Carson said...

Esme, I signed up for Nano for the exact same reason. Compulsive editor, that's me. I also was afraid of wasting a month writing crap. I'm a little behind at this point, and I don't post my stuff so I don't have Kathy's problem, but I'm interested to see how it works out. Good luck!

Carol Burnside said...

Good luck with NaNo. I have the same problem that you do with editing as Nicole has heard me lament many times.