December 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo Reflections

So NaNoWriMo's over, and I finished with a solid 50,072 words at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, November 30th. Awesome.

This was my second attempt at NaNoWriMo. I believe that I mentioned somewhere that I failed miserably last year, but this year was amazingly successful. It was an amazing experience. That said, it's totally possible that I will never do NaNoWriMo again.

You see, I think the concept of NaNoWriMo is to get people to write when they can't write or won't write or something like that. Generally, I don't have much of a problem writing, so long as I'm interested in the material that I'm writing about. The Marko Man series has seen hundreds of stories, thousands of chapters, and billions of words because it's subject matter that I care about. And then there were non-Marko Man stories that were started and never finished because somewhere along the line, I stopped giving a shit. And ultimately, I have no regrets when it comes to not finishing a story that I didn't care for because if I didn't give much of a shit to write it, then readers probably would have given less of a shit to read it. Hell, half of the time, the things that I do write and put care into it doesn't get read because it's too long or what have you. So... yeah.

Still, this was a great experience. It is something that I should do again, provided I have the inspiration in terms of the story to write, but just like with this piece, in no way will I be limiting the story to just 50,000 words (unless that's the best length for it). The worst part, though, had to have been the end. Within the last 5 days, I had 25,000 words to go, and man did I have to pump out some shit to reach the goal. I was pretty much coercing myself to write more than I naturally wanted to do, which is something else. I think during the third day of that five day rush, my brain felt like it was sizzling after a given writing session. Pushing 2000 or 3000 words furiously, and then being done with it like, "whoa... crazy."

But then again, the best part of this thing was the last 5 days as well, specifically that Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday that I had off... I had pretty much isolated myself from the rest of the world to sit down in front of my computer and create my own world (not to mention have breaks from this created world that I was working on and playing video games and watching awesome videos). When I came back to the real world that Wednesday for work, I felt sooo refreshed. Even when I went to work yesterday, I was feeling much, much better than usual.

So yeah... NaNoWriMo? Great experience, like I already said. I may or may not do it again... me not doing it ever again in life wouldn't exactly ruin my life, but I have to say, NaNoWriMo reminded me of how much I love writing fiction, regardless of whether my stories count as "literature" or not. Sure, I've been writing a lot. Between this blog, poetry, the wrestling editioral column that I do on, and the walls of text that I throw down on FaceBook (and during blue moons), I haven't missed a word. I even wrote a few (relatively insignificant) short stories somewhere in between when I was going through this phase of needing some kind of validation for my work by trying to submit "literature" (aka shit not in my style) to random publications and stuff. But the last time I wrote a fictional story of length? Well, I went through my notes on FaceBook, apparently, the last word of Marko Man's Untitled Internet Finale was July 18th, 2010. That was more than a year ago. Quite a hiatus from novel writing (I mean, the UIF may not have started off as a novel, but it sure as fuck turned into one, so yeah). So this... this was kinda like a return to my roots... and boy did it feel good to return to those roots while exploring something slightly different from what I'm used to writing.

What's interesting though, however, is how I'm now reconsidering that decision to make Marko Man a web comic series. Writing... it feels so good and so natural to me... it's the one thing that I know for a fact I can do well under a given circumstance. It's the one thing that I know is mine as a talent (or maybe a very, very, very refined skill), and it's the one thing I love doing at any given moment. You take my video games away from me, and I'm fine as long as I can write.

That said... well... I don't really know how to end this.

"But Mark, didn't you just talk about how writing is your first love and how it comes natural to you?"

Yes. Yes, I did.

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