Saturday, 30 November 2013

Missing the point

I guess I knew that trying to ignore the creative and motivated act of novel-writing and just surf on the writing energy of the crowd, while compiling an autobiography, wouldn't really work.

I have patched together some bits and pieces, and done some thinking about it all, but this hasn't proven the same kind of experience as the previous years, which were frustrating at times, often exhausting, and didn't always end up with finished work to be proud of, but every time I did experience some kind of breakthrough on certain days. A character coming to life, an unexpected plot twist that started to write itself.  Those moments made the process worthwhile.

So I feel a bit of a cheat, really, as I have not sat down every day to seek those brief revelations, but have been also cutting and pasting bits that I had already written, stuff from Scrivener, and so on.

Still, it got me back into looking at the material again, so I can't consider it an entirely wasted month.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

In My Own Way

I loved the title of Alan Watts' autobiography, "In My Own Way" for its ambiguity.

I seem to have problems of getting in my own way when it comes to completing an autobiography, too.

I did make a good start, and put it in Scrivener, thinking that such a well-designed piece of software might make it a pleasure to return to, etc.  I routinely do bits of research, or recall phases of my life, although a lack of diaries does make it impressionistic, rather than accurately detailed.

Although I have used NaNoWriMo to motivate myself (I remain pretty dogged at keeping my word, once I have made a commitment) and have completed five imperfect 50,000 word novellas, I always thought it was breaking their local rules to work on non-fiction within that community.

Indeed, if you take the original rules literally, they specifically exclude memoirs and autobiographies.

Find me on NaNoWriMo

So, not feeling motivated to attempt that fiction mountain again, I thought perhaps I should take a break from NaNo, and just turn the same energy to shaping up my life story.   I went into NaNoWriMo, only to find that it now has a NaNo Rebels space on the forum, where others breaking the basic rules can still gather.

That seemed like a good idea to join.

But here I find myself, five days in, and I only wrote the 1667 words you have to do each day on the first day.  Then I got side-tracked, by a friend suggesting we make a Facebook Page for a small show we worked in during the early 1970s.  The Raree Show.  I guess I could kid myself that it counts as 'research'.

I have had fun putting it together, but still await contributions from other people, to get the momentum rolling.