So this year marks the sixth time I've done NaNoWriMo. Out of the five previous years, I finished three times. That means that I have three novels languishing on CD-ROM disks somewhere in my home office. Well, actually, the first one was so bad that I deleted it. The second year's book is not a total loss but I just can't seem to sit down and do the editing I need to do to finish it. I've started to several times in the past four years but I just can't seem to get my mind around it. The last one could probably be pretty good if I threw away the manuscript and started from scratch. The characters are flat and the plot is predictable but the world where the story takes place took on a life of its own. I may use it again someday.
This year? Well, this year I have a set of characters that I like well enough that I'm having trouble beating up on them. I kow where the story is going and where it has to end up and while the words aren't just flowing onto the screen, it's not like pulling teeth either.
My biggest problem is that I can't let go of my work when it's done. I write the stories and either never edit them or edit them until I can't stand to look at them and then throw them away. I have been playing at writing fiction since I was a teenager. I actually make my living as a technical writer simply because I wanted to be a writer so badly that I was willing to write software documentation in order to be able to say I am a writer. I published my first programming article when I was 29 years old. My first short story came out when I was 44.
Will my first novel come out before I'm 50? Probably not. Even if the first publisher I send my novel to says, "Wow! Just the thing we've been waiting for. Let us publish it, please?" I'll be 50 or more before it comes out. Is that an excuse to give up? No. I mean, what else do I have to do? Ten years from now I'll be almost 60. Whether I keep trying to write and get a book published or not, I'll be almost 60 years old. I may as well have some fun along the way.
And now I have to get back to my novel. On day eight, I have 11,749 words. Only 38,251 words to go...