The Joys of Not Knowing What the Heck You’re Doing

The thought occurs to me in this moment, I really should have outlined more in October. I had eleven months that weren’t NaNoWriMo to do so, and I completely blew it, intentionally.

You would think that NaNoWriMo gets easier every year you do it, but there’s not truth to that at all. Every year it’s another monolithic 50,000 words you have got to write, and nothing changes that. The sole upside is that after the first year you win, you no longer have to worry about whether or not it’s physically possible for you to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Still, just because you CAN do it doesn’t mean it will be easy…there’s just a little less anxiety involved.

Last NaNoWriMo, I crafted an outline that was quite possibly better written than the book itself. That’s when I realized my novel-prepping was getting out of hand. I wanted to use this year to return to my roots. There had been a time when I was full of spontaneity and unafraid of where a story might take me, and I wanted to recapture it.

I had forgotten how much anxiety is involved in not knowing what happens form chapter to chapter. It’s the literary equivalent of not knowing where you’re going to get your next meal. I can do it, and admittedly there is a sense of adventure to this approach, but my hat is off to the people who do it book after book after book.

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