01 November 2011

A year ago, a year ahead

A public holiday here in Belgium, Toussaint in French (All Saints in English). It's a full-fledged autumn day with blue sky, white clouds, full-spectrum foliage. And, I just realized, one year ago I embarked on NaNoWriMo. It was a funny year to do NaNoWriMo because it seemed like that was the year it broke into the mainstream, so that even people who aren't writers heard about it, and debated its pros and cons as though they knew anything about writing fiction. I won't be doing NaNoWriMo this year because, astoundingly enough, I am working on the second draft of the 50,000 words I churned out this time last year. This is painstaking work, the work of choosing the right words, the work of balancing a structure so that it stands, the work of finding time in which to do the work, and being mean about it, even snarling and hissing perhaps, when that time is threatened or encroached on. This is not the work of a month but more like a year, if I can manage. In fact 2011 was supposed to be my Personal Novel Refining Year. It didn't work out that way but there's no stopping that year from commencing now, today, instead of January 1, is there? In a way that makes perfect sense. Start where you are, calendars be damned. Yes. I like that.

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