Those of you who have been following along since the beginning have suffered with me (or suffered me, depending on your opinion) the ups and downs of taking a novel from the germ of an idea to a completed manuscript. What was initially supposed to have been a journal of my experiences participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – hence the title NaNoWriMo Notes) evolved into something larger then I expected it to be as it has continued on long past the original competition ending date of November 30, 2005.
Originally supposed to have been a running commentary on the challenges of churning out thousands of words a day and the steps I took to overcome things like writer's block, fatigue, continuity lapses, and tedium, the series has turned into an ongoing exposition on the struggles of writing a first novel. On some occasions I have waxed philosophical (or navel-gazed - again depending on your point of view) but for the most part I've stuck with descriptions of process, revelations I've had about myself as a writer, and reflections on the business of writing.
I've written about my anxieties, my insecurities, and all the other emotional baggage that goes along with any creative process. When I look back on what I've talked about to this point I wonder if I've made it sound like writing is something I do in spite of all the agony if puts me through and that I get no pleasure from the experience.
I was talking on the phone yesterday with one of my colleagues from my early days in theatre. We had worked together for five years, he as artistic director, and me in various administrative, artistic and managerial capacities with a small company in Toronto. That time was my equivalent of an apprenticeship where I learned the ins and outs of being a professional artist.
Although we both live in the same part of the world we don't get much of an opportunity to talk; he's been teaching at a local college, starting up a freelance graphic design and consulting business, and has started a family late in life. During the school year any free time he manages to squeeze out of his schedule he spends with his family, so we only ever have opportunities to talk during the summer months.