Well, my first day of NaNoWriMo was painful, but not as painful as I thought it would be. Although right now at this very moment I’m frustrated that the stupid official NaNoWriMo word validator doesn’t work in Chrome or Firefox, and it doesn’t help that the site is loading super slow right now. Actually, quick update. It doesn’t even seem to be working in IE6. Screw that. According to my writing program I’m at 1670 words, so boo yah.
I decided to attend the write-in at the Coffee Bean in Costa Mesa for the South Orange County group of writers and was met with a very friendly group, although I’ll have to admit I was being a bit anti-social. I had forgotten how personal writing is for me, and for some reason I just didn’t really feel like sharing my synopsis. I’d hate to sound like some writing snob by saying my novel is something I hold dear to me, but that’s really what it felt like.
One of the things I learned at the writing workshops at the University of Iowa was the long process that a writer undergoes to getting their novel published. The instructor, Leslie Schwartz, detailed going through draft after draft, getting the novel shopped around to someone who appreciated it, and finally getting a book deal, and how near the end you start to understand why so many writers fight depression. You really feel a sense of ownership to this creation or yours that you’ve poured yourself into, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.
Someone in the workshop mentioned a writer who was posting his novel-in-progress on his website for people to discuss and give insight into and recommend changes, and Leslie talked about how that just wasn’t something you do, something akin to “masturbating your story” for everyone to see. I think I was the only one in the class who laughed at that comparison, but it is something I agree with.