No Plot, No Problem?

Maybe you recognize this entry’s title as a reference to NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s book, No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. And if you’ve ever done NaNoWriMo, you can probably imagine exactly the nervous-to-panicked edge to the typing voice infused into that title….

For the third year in a row, I’m facilitating the Young Writers’ Program at my school. I’m worrying about it less, and am going to cut down on my investment level somewhat; I have a core group of kids via my Creative Writing class who will get the whole rigamarole, but I’m not going to kill myself with twice-weekly after school meetings or anything. Ultimately, NaNo is an individual enterprise with occasional social gatherings – not the other way around.

My problem comes from the fact that I really don’t know what to write about.

Well, that, and I promised myself I’d finish Wyrd before this November. And I haven’t.

I’ve got three novel ideas bouncing around in my head, and I know that what I ought to do is to release them onto paper and let them fight it out Star Trek-style, but I think a part of me is scared that they’re still so fragile that open air would kill them. One is a story – or rather, a mesh net of stories – that has been sitting around in my brain for a couple of years. Another came to me early this school year, and I like the idea of it but am not at all sure that I have it in me to write it. The third idea is extremely zygotey, only a couple of days old, and I’m not sure if there’s enough there to bloom into a full grown manuscript or not….

The main thing, I guess, is that I’m just not inspired to write this year. I’m struggling to get my butt in gear to finish the last book, and it’s a book I not only love but know how to end. There’s just so many other things I’d rather do with my non-work time. On the flip side of that, I know that this is good for me – I know that if I’m going to pretend to be a Writer, I need this tough forced-discipline thing in my life. It’s my only hope of ever completing manuscripts, and I know that.

Plus, I want another star.

Back of Sash

My stars for years of NaNo - there's another gold one now, for last year!

 (If you like my sash, check out more pictures here.)

2 thoughts on “No Plot, No Problem?

  1. Even though you haven’t finished Wyrd yet, I am still looking forward to it when it arrives. Whenever I see a new post on your blog from my Google Reader, I secretly hope that it is going to be the next installment. But I can wait…

    I find that when I struggle to find things to write, I just have to start writing. Once I get into the writing, I find I don’t want to stop. Now this isn’t to say that I can just sit down and start writing, having inspiration flow directly from the Muses through the aether into my brain. It is quite the opposite, in fact. Once I start to write, it makes me start to think through things more, and I realize that I don’t have anything to say at the current moment, or that it opens up an over-sized bay window that sucks me in. There is a reason why Wifey often falls asleep while I am blogging.

    Since you don’t have any idea what to write at the moment, I am planning on tagging you in an upcoming post. I have a theme that has been running through my head, and I want to write something about it. I’ll let you know when you have been invited.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s