NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I have been Dreading it with a capital D. You see, I finished a first draft earlier this year and have been working on my second. I've found ways to almost banish the Dread from my writing routine entirely:
1. Never let more than a day go by without working on my novel. Writing poems and other stuff doesn't count. The more time I let go by before I get back to it, the more I worry, the more power I impart to the Dread. Once I'm writing, the Dread has very little power.
2. Arguing with my internal editor, who, I realized yesterday when I thought about it, is Ben's evil twin. He and the Dread work hand in hand. The incredibly awesome Natalie has great advice about dealing with the internal editor and first drafts in general.
3. Reading. This can seem counter-productive at times, but reading fiction and non-fiction actually helps me be more productive. Reading great writing advice keeps me from staying stuck. Stuck is bad. It's like inviting the Dread over and feeding it cheesecake. DO NOT FEED THE DREAD! If you like Stephanie, you should read this too. I love Steph. I started reading her blog last year, when she was where I am now. She wrote this great post, and I was hooked.
So NaNoWriMo, I'm still not sure if I want to go there. I'm very tempted to put off the next first draft until January and then let it drag out over a few months. After all, I have a system now. Right? RIGHT??? But I got so much done the only time I ever attempted NaNoWriMo. It was amazing until I found lice in one of my children's hair and spent the rest of November dealing with that nightmare. That could be one more reason why I'm dreading the whole thing. Lice. Shudder. Dread.
Okay six hours and a talk with Ben later, I've decided I'm in. I'm Night Writer over there too, if you want to be my "buddy." I've even narrowed it down to the funny story and first person. Finally. Bring on the Dread.