November 22, 2017

Wait Till It Comes Around Again

Well, here we are much of the way through November, already into the hectic rush of the end of another year. I started the month with ambitious plans of drawing inspiration from the NaNoWriMo energy in the air and devoting bigger chunks of time to revision. That worked out for two or three days, and then there were some plot developments on the new house remodel that sucked up my attention. I never really managed the "NANOWRIMO AMOUNT OF FOCUS" that my all-caps to-do item called for this month, and writing progress has mostly trickled along. Our new home is proceeding more quickly, at least, and it will be ready for moving in next month. My manuscript will be ready next year, surely.

A year ago, November also began with high hopes. I was excitedly embarking on this revision that's still underway, and I wrote more or less the same thing about harnessing NaNoWriMo energy. Then the election happened, and focusing on writing got a lot harder for quite some time.

Of course, even under ideal conditions, I'm not super great at consistently putting hours of concentration into writing. Or maybe the issue is that conditions are so rarely ideal. Real life presents a constant distraction, which is a lovely thing as often as it's not. I knew I'd written about this issue before, and I found this post from many years ago on the topic, when naturally I was engaged in another revision of this same novel. Because let's not forget that I've been doing this over and over for a decade.

But hey, the tail end of the year is all about annual traditions, right? Some year it might be nice if my custom evolved to working on a different novel or revived making the most of NaNoWriMo. But I'm incredibly fortunate to get all this time for writing, and for that and so much else in my life, I'm truly thankful.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ At The Millions, Adam O'Fallon Price explores the nature of both first- and third-person narratives in this Defense of Third Person: "We constantly divide our attention between the first- and third-person points of view, between desiring the shiny object in front of us and figuring out what it means for us to take it: who else wants it, what we have to do to get it, and whether it's worth taking it from them. In this sense, close third person not only accurately models human cognition, but omniscient third does as well, since, while we cannot read other people's minds, we are constantly inferring their consciousness--their motives and feelings. The human experience is a kind of constant jumping of these cognitive registers, from pure reptile-brain all the way up to a panoramic moral overview and back down, and human ingenuity has yet to invent a better means of representing this experience in art than the third-person narrator."