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Will I actually write something during NaNoWriMo this year? My problem seems to be the old Inner Editor. The one who says, STOP, that is CRAP! That is NOT WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING...

And just what IS it I am supposed to be writing?

50,000 words in a month. Forget the plot, just type, get the words down.


Went to the Singapore NaNoWriMo Write-In yesterday and was greeted as "the troublemaker"... Why? Because I had posted a photo of LKY up as my avatar. Why? Because why the fuck not.

How to get off on the wrong foot. Sigh.

So I watched and waited and listened, waiting for something that would make me think this was worthwhile for me. And nothing grabbed my attention. Nothing. It might have been great for those others, but not for me.


I now know for sure that enthusiastic support, well-meaning collaborative exercises, group word-play and writing games and exercises are totally not for me.

I felt like some gruff anti-authoritarian Charles Bukowski-type sipping on his beer at the back watching school-teachers and school-kids do their Year 12 group hug before the final exams start.


Let's get outta here. We hit Boat Quay to finish off Spike's JD from last week.


I know I have nothing except this blog to justify my claim to be "a writer." Nothing published, nothing publishable, but I do harbour a healthy distrust of formalities, of structure, of mutual admiration societies.

I just like to push this shit onto you. I NEED to push this shit on to you.

That is all. Maybe I have a shitload of other stories still be dumped out, way too long and complicated and painful to be told in 200 - 1200 words. Maybe that is what a novel is, what my novel is going to be. I just have to start.

I know I keep talking, talking, but honest to God, I write nothing except this fucking blog on the black-hole edge of anonymity...

I start a story draft and throw it away (aka *delete*) in disgust.

My inner editor says, "Stop being so formal, so sanctimoniuous, so detailed, so peripheral, so specific, so accurate, so shallow, so flowery, so sparse, so list-oriented, so brief, so turgid, so poetic, so prolix, so pedestrian, so false, so honest, so boring, so confusing, so macho, so whimpy, so self-critical..."

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann.


Writing for me is the troublesome path of a solitary loner (redundant!) type, forced into an introverted (again!), anti-social, brooding, silent, dark, bum-numbing, socio-pathological, unfriendly, sitting-down-a-lot, angry bastard lifestyle by his compulsion to offend and expose because the truth hurts, perpetually flipping a bird at exactly this type of well-met hale-and-hearty fellow-toiler thing.

It may not be that way for you, but it is for me. I am sure you think I am the one missing out, and you are almost certainly right.

The more you try to encourage, enthuse, motivate, stimulate and prod, the harder I push back with silence and reluctance, contrarian arsehole that I am. Just let me go, it'll happen... maybe.

I kick against your pricks! And that could hurt!

Why the fuck am I like this?

Why can't I play nicely with others, take it seriously.

Because I take it too seriously?


So, instead, my advice to all NaNoWriMo participants who are like me, antisocial bums with overactive Inner Editors, is that piece of anarchistic advice from 1956 Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramón Jiménez...

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

Because, in the words of a friend of mine, when faced with a minor official who wouldn't let me in as his guest to the (crappy as it turned out) Cathay Business Class Lounge at Taipei airport, all those years ago, "Rules, " as he said, "are meant to be broken."

In fact, when it comes to writing, you shold endeavour as Carole Maso says, to Break Every Rule...

I have to teach myself my own rule: LET GO OF RULES!

Except the one that says 50,000 words in one month.



Posted by: expat@large on Oct 28, 07 | 3:30 pm | Profile


Talked yourself out of it again I see.

Posted by: Dick on Oct 28, 07 | 11:19 pm

so, what are you going to do, sugar? string all your posts together as some sort of expanded clock script?

Posted by: savannah on Oct 29, 07 | 12:02 am

Let's see... At least this year I have some ideas. Too many in fact. I've tidied up the Novel Blog-site so that comments will work and placed a link at the bottom of the main blog page.

Huge sigh.

Let's see...

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 29, 07 | 12:14 am

Jesus darlin' just write it. Blogging is a real distraction, I must admit... ... You can only write so much in a day and have so much pent up emotion. Save it for the book.

Posted by: isabella on Oct 29, 07 | 2:00 am

Hmm. One can definitely say "I'm thinking about my novel" and procrastinate. So, let's assume that to be the case...In the meantime? How about writing exercises?

I adopted a 24-hour story writing exercise last year. The rule is: write a story in 24 hours. Then leave it. No particular style or topic. I decided not to care and started experimenting.

The purpose for me? To increase my writing speed. It worked. First story took me approx. 18 hours. The most recent one I wrote in approx. 6 hours--length of 9-10 pages.

Okay, they're goofy. Some fail on a huge level BUT, I wrote almost 90 pages (single spaced) in approx. 6 months and that's no small potatoes. I don't actually consider the stories as high literature, but there are parts of them that are brilliant and the energy level is high. I've incorporated those gems into my "serious" writing and I've had fun fooling around with styles, devices and a whole lot of silly.

Here's a writing exercise: What if everyone wanted you everywhere you went? What would you do?

Posted by: dagg on Oct 29, 07 | 10:56 am

Izzy: yes, William Gibson stops blogging when he's working on a novel - otherwise it's like boiling the kettle with the lid off, he says.

Dagg: I was considering procrastinating but now, hey, I might wait a bit...
I'm sure yours were great stories...
And your suggestion: What if everyone wanted me? But that's not fiction, it's something I DO have to deal with everyday! It's a tragedy and I want to write comedy! Actually it's more like "So, I Attract Axe-Murderers" - LOL!

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 29, 07 | 11:20 am

action is character

--Ernest Hemingway

Posted by: dagg on Oct 29, 07 | 1:12 pm

"that's the rumour..."

? movie

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 29, 07 | 1:42 pm

The more you try to encourage, enthuse, motivate, stimulate and prod, the harder I push back with silence and reluctance, contrarian arsehole that I am. Just let me go, it'll happen... maybe.


Because I take it too seriously?

I used to be exactly like this when it came to playing the violin. Requests, admonishments, cajolery, threats... I'd just scowl back. And then occasionally go shut myself up in a room and play with no lights on. Now, of course, I've been in that mode for so long that it's all I know, and wonder whether there really was much to make a fuss about.

Posted by: knobby on Oct 29, 07 | 4:44 pm

I presume "playing the violin" is not some sort of knobular metaphor...

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 29, 07 | 4:49 pm

No, the knob has never needed much encouragement. Or even a dark room.

Posted by: knobby on Oct 29, 07 | 7:42 pm

knobby's blog is very dark today. The William Gibson method? Violin practice?

Posted by: Dick on Oct 29, 07 | 10:07 pm

"that's the rumour"

that's a line from a movie? jaysus, give agirl a break, sugar!

Posted by: savannah on Oct 30, 07 | 2:52 am

Extended hibernation.

Posted by: knobby on Oct 30, 07 | 3:23 am

Sav: put an incredibly laid back southern ultra-debauched wild west drawl on it...

'thut's thuh rOOOmuuuuuhhhhh..."

...followed by an extended interchange in Latin - I can't believe I giving you CLUES!

Knob: your prerogative. Blogging has hairs on it.

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 30, 07 | 8:49 pm

well, okay, I'll write you.

Posted by: dagg on Oct 31, 07 | 2:04 pm

Dagg: write me out of the will? But it Grandma's dying wish that I get the spoon collection!

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 31, 07 | 10:39 pm

that's supposed to be a dare, a double dog dare.

Posted by: dagg on Nov 01, 07 | 12:45 am

Grrrr, you dare to dare me! Note the date...nanawrimo hath commenced! Um think I'll start with a pause.

Posted by: expat@large on Nov 01, 07 | 1:43 am


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