I’m afraid I won’t be posting anything to this blog today.
I hope no one was looking forward to it or anything, because it’s just not happening. I try to make myself post something once a week because I think it’s good writing practice and because I enjoy it. (I don’t enjoy blogging while I’m doing it, of course. I like it later, when a spambot tries to sell me knockoff purses by commenting “Fantastic publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t realize this!” on a post I wrote about how drinking water will turn you into a mermaid. Then it’s fun.)
Last weekend I finally finished the first draft of a thing I am physically incapable of talking about. Now it’s sitting in a folder on my computer, waiting for me to come back to it and give it the rewrite it desperately needs.
I say that because right now it is terrible, and I don’t mean that in an aw, shucks way. I mean that it might actually be pages and pages of random nouns and verbs strung together. The typing monkeys everyone is always talking about are probably producing an exact copy of it at this moment just by slamming their fists into the keyboard. I’m afraid to open The Folder because I’m worried I spent hours and hours of my life working on something and I could have produced the same result by jumbling up a dictionary.
I usually forget about No-Shave November until right around this time each year, when men start to seem fuzzier than usual and it’s not because my glasses are smudged. I typically don’t notice NaNoWriMo until around November 29 each year, either. I always think, “Hmm. I should write a book,” but then I remember that I don’t have any ideas, I lack even the motivation to create an account on the NaNoWriMo website, and writing is haaaaaaard. So I move on and forget about it for the next 365 days.
NaNoWriMo, for the cool kids out there, is a challenge designed to motivate people to write a novel in a month. It’s not a long month — November only hath 30 days, if you’ll recall that dumb rhyme. The good news is, it’s not a long novel, either — the goal is 50,000 words which is apparently the approximate length of “The Great Gatsby”
I really wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, and the only reason for this was that writing came easier to me than other subjects did. I wanted to be a writer because I didn’t want to try to learn anything else. Everyone does that, though. Kids who are good at art want to grow up to be artists, kids with a knack for science want to be scientists, and kids who like math want to be calculators.
I’ve been hearing voices for a long time. Not in a schizoid kind of way, or even in an “I’m picking up Top 40 radio with my orthodontia” kind of way. The ones I can hear are not as friendly as Casey Kasem sounds. In fact, they’re downright mean.
I think (read: hope) even the most well-adjusted people face an inner critic from time-to-time. Even if you don’t hear a literal voice, you know what I mean when I talk about something nagging you deep in the back of your brain while you’re trying to accomplish something.
It’s like the meanest person you’ve ever met is standing directly behind your left shoulder, nitpicking every single thing you do. “That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” your inner critic says. “I can’t believe you thought you could do this. YOU ARE RUINING EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT IN THIS WORLD RIGHT NOW, YOU BOOGER-EATING FUNGUS LICKER. YOU RUN LIKE A WATER BUFFALO!”