November 14, 2006

Writer's Block

I’ve been feeling so ashamed that I haven’t posted a blog a day for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I thought it would be much easier than NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but there were many glitches to be had as I lost my Blogger editor's toolbar and eventually had to switch to Beta. I’d also really like to know what the people at my day job have done to my work computer to prevent Blogger from operating properly. Clever little bastards think they’re going to keep me from working on personal writings? All they can do is keep me from posting. Which, of course, is the main objective this month, so I guess they win. I’m having a little better luck posting from my home computer, but I don’t get to play with that until after 5:00 p.m. I’d much rather be posting blog entries on company time than on my own personal time. Who wouldn’t?

As for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been making steady headway, but am sorely short of the 23,338 words I should have written by now. I’m finding it isn’t really so hard to write 1667 words a day if I actually sit down and write them. Thinking about them isn’t enough. Wishing I had time to write them down isn’t enough either. I have to actually put all those words on the computer screen for a legal count. However, my word count is consistent with my region’s average word count. Does that mean those of us in Minnesota are complete slugs when it comes to sitting at the computer and writing a novel? Or are our fingers just too stiff from the cold to actually type? I, and the average Minnesota NaNoWriMo participant, am short about 17,000 words. I am still determined to write 50,000 before the end of the month.

What makes all this writing interesting is actually making it public. For example, I’ll post this entry on my blog and people will read it. A few months from now, or even a few days, I’ll read it again and will be all embarrassed that I thought it was ever worthy to post on the internets. It’s a very stupid entry right now, and it will seem more stupid in the future. With NaNoWriMo, I can write as much stupid stuff as I want, and no one will ever have to see it if I don’t want them to.

So here’s my question: How many times do you have to read and rewrite something to finally be satisfied that it’s not stupid? If a piece of writing is stupid, and there is no one to read it, should the author be embarrassed? Does it remain stupid until you get a masters degree in fine arts? Is an author ever really satisfied with his/her writing?

What’s the point? Why do I even bother participating in NaNoWriMo if I know that anything I attempt to write will flow onto my screen with the inspiration of many muses only to look like horse hooey when I read it three days later? My rewrites will also be inspired and poetic, yet those too will turn to shit in the span of three days. Tell me, does this frustration occur in all writers, or do I just suck?

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