Friends are good at giving advice. I have a very dear, but very skinny, sports mad friend who suggests I get fit but then never seems to feel well. I have a friend who is quite well covered, says that diets never work but is always on one. I have an incredibly sensible friend, who is well, incredibly sensible but as they say, the exception proves the rule (and the cliche fills the paragraph).
I frequently ask for the advice of friends, always appreciate it, am sometimes reassured by it but very rarely use it for any practical purpose. In November 2009 however I surpassed myself. I actually saw something that looked like a really good suggestion in an email from a writing type friend, read it and ACTED on it. In fact, I acted on it and my friends didn’t which makes me feel doubly clever, like I can claim the idea as my own in the first place. Anyway – I looked at http://www.nanowrimo.org and thought ‘Why not? How hard can writing 50,000 words of my novel (or embryonic idea for one) be? Inexperience can sometimes be a positive thing. I clearly knew nothing.
I don’t think most really great authors take just a month to get 75% of their story down on paper. Writing should be re-named the ‘Procrastination Game’. NaNoWriMo is really just a sort of competition that you enter, with no one to beat but yourself and no prize at the end. Even if you write your 50,000 words you get a logo you can use to impress everyone on your facebook page, but will find you no fans in the cold hard literary world I am sure.
However, it certainly got me writing, and ‘Lavender Larceny’, a humorous tale of elderly ladies solving violent crimes took shape. I know that may sound a little derivative, but it will change and at least now I have something to slash by a third and then double then slash by a third and then double and then and then… sorry, forgot myself for a moment. I now have something to reread and rewrite which is undoubtedly progress. Lavender Larceny isn’t all I intend to write in the coming months, and it isn’t all I intend to write about in these blogs, but it will certainly find its way in on occasion, perhaps when I want some advice?