NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!

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For those who didn’t know, National Novel Writing Month is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (their minimum number of words for a novel) from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. There’s no limit on how many people can win!

The website provides participants with tips for writer’s block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author’s discretion. NaNoWriMo’s main goal is to encourage creativity worldwide. The project started in July 1999 with 21 participants, but by the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part and wrote a total of over 2.8 billion words.

Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts. Word counts are validated on the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for automatic counting. Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local writers, holding writing events and providing encouragement.

National Novel Writing Month has become international many years ago. A thing I haven’t known for many years is that you’re welcome to write in the language you’re most comfortable with, not necessarily English how I had been thinking!

I joined this year. These are my details, if someone is willing to add me as buddy:

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/elenitsa

I used to say that I don’t believe in NaNoWriMo: I don’t do NaNo per se because I think it is a reason to motivate yourself to finish what you start. And I have done it several times, without the deadline of one month. I have written (in my mother tongue) stories between 19,500 and 203,500 words. I can do better without the stress of a deadline more. I have enough of it at work. Why hurry? If there was the prize of publishing the story for free, yes, this was an incentive. But just to show I can – I can do it any time of the year, taking as long as necessary.

However, the support groups, I think they are wonderful for any kind of writing/ writers. I wish there would be more of them all year long. I have taken part in some, even if my writings weren’t destined to be a NaNo novel, but the regular posts for my interactive story Before the Mast. I availed myself of the writing sprints the RPG resource sites organised, to write more posts, to write quicker and better. I used the prompts for new ideas. I used every November to open a new Word file for everything I wrote then, without ever joining the NaNo site, and to collect them the whole month, just to know how much I write, and I always got to something around 42,000, give and take a couple thousands.

I might still not believe in NaNoWriMo; but I believe in challenging myself, and this November I need it. I need to focus on something creative, literary, to achieve something and to measure my success. So it is well. I can write at least 1,667 words/ day for 30 days. I wouldn’t finish the novel, because I am not a person to write as concisely as 50,000 words/ novel. Mine are always much more.

I will be writing a spin-off of “Before the Mast”, using only my characters and the NPCs I have created. So, swashbuckling adventures at sea, but not following the plot of the site. Who would expect a pirate captain and a pirate hunter mercenary would become sworn brothers? Of course it is possible, but only in unique circumstances… which will start unfolding during November. 🙂 I have also the title – “The price of freedom“. Pirates consider them free at sea because they have no allegiance. But this freedom has a price of blood…

I have planned writing this novel for a long time; I need NaNoWriMo’s kick-off in order to actually start doing it. And once started… I always finish what I start.

I also need the support group. I have always looked for a group of similarly-minded people. I am glad that I attended the first meeting and that we had found each other, with questions, answers and resource sharing.

the-price-of-freedom-c

This above is the draft cover. And some day I’ll quote, for those who read Romanian, fragments of it… For now, I have only a few chapters outlined.

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The black man’s lament – An executioner’s tale

I am the disdained one
Who carries out orders, to survive.
They call me the black man, under my mask.
How many people I have killed
In ten years of service?

I haven’t counted; I can’t do it.
I had been, once, a butcher and a slave.
My master, the magistrate, promised me freedom
And a good pay from the city’s coffers.
Could I have refused then? Now I wish I did.

My family has never starved since then,
Even if eating modest meals.
I was promised to be able to manumit my children
When they’d be of the right age.
My son didn’t wait; he ran away to freedom while young.

Ten years when I saw the last gaze of convicted
Men and women; even children who had as only blame
They stole a coin to survive, or they were born to wrong parents.
From the rich, disgraced victims, I had also the right
To lawfully get their expensive shoes and sell them afterwards.

Today I wish I died only a slave,
The butcher who had never killed a human being.
The crowd shouts, the execution must go on, I must hit.
I’m looking in the eyes of the pirate I have to execute
And I can’t kill my own long estranged son.

I am lazy

glaroi-selidia

Yes, I am lazy. Or, rather, tired, both physically and mentally. I am 48 and sometimes I feel 100.

I wish I was feeling and thinking differently, but not anymore. My mother was shocked when I told her that I have another priority from now on than my carreer. She had taught me to hold my carreer the highest, and I have done it. I got a PhD and I honoured it through having well thought projects, through teaching others and writing a book and various teaching materials and contributions. But a carreer is a living thing. It grows, it expands, it gives a certain fame within specific circles, then it gets old. The times are not good anymore for its development, and it starts diminishing. People get other interests, more fullfilling personally, to focus on, and job ceases being a “carreer” and starts being the place you earn money from.

I have worked already for 30 years, and my patience is weaning. Project management is a demanding, high responsibility job which requires everything to function in line. Yes, one would say that the domino principle applies somehow. And when not everything works how it should have, sometimes it is despite the fact that you have done your best. There are things which aren’t under your control, and which fall attracts other falls.

If God and the laws in force want me to retire early, I will do it. If God doesn’t want it for me, the law won’t be favourable in this direction. Call it laziness, if you want, but I think it might not be exactly this. Just realism and tiredness.

It would be good because I’d end with some stress in my life, not only the work-related part (deadlines, people who don’t do what they were supposed to , how they were supposed to) but also, e.g, the yearly physical evaluation and the need to get permissions for visits to doctors who don’t have a schedule in the evenings. It would be good because I’ll have more time to dedicate to writing, and hopefully I might publish more books. It would be good because I can dedicate more time to caring for my mother and I’d feel less guilty in this field. I will stop worrying what I am going to do with her if in a few months she wouldn’t be able to live alone anymore and I’ll have to move with her as main caregiver.

At the same time, I am scared of the early retirement (which now seems the most likely thing to happen in the upcoming months). Some people have called it “the waiting room for death“. I was told that retired people aren’t taken into consideration anymore by those who are still working. I am scared of the paperwork entailing the early retirement, and of the high austerity months I’ll have to spend waiting for the decision and the first pensions to come.

But I’ll go on without looking back, because I am too tired after 30 years of full time work. More tired than I should have been. And this might make people draw the conclusion that I am lazy.