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November 28, 2006


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Having completed 2005, I have to say it's not as hard as it seems. Just write. A much harder thing for me, and why I won't complete this year, is figuring out exactly what you want to have on the other side of that 30 days.

S William Shaw

6 years? Does she have anything published? Wowsers...


Eric — I agree with you on the "Just write" part. It took me years to get to this point, myself. Now when people ask me what's the best way to start writing, I'll say, "Just sit down and start." Easier said than done for many — the writer's process is, after all, mysterious in its essence.

If you let go of the notion of figuring out what is to be there before you get there, do you think this would help you complete it? Granted, the story might be different from what you originally intended, but maybe this is o.k./part of the process.

There's always re-writes...


S William — I'll post when I find out if she's gotten any stories published.

I thought of another fitting analogy for her: She's the Neo of the NaNoWriMo Matrix.



Sure, it would help me complete it. But a big part of creativity for me is intention. What am I trying to do? And once I've completed a pass, am I even close to what I was trying to do? Last year even though I finished NaNo, the answer was no, no, and no. The draft I had wasn't anywhere close to anything I wanted, and certainly nothing edits would fix. It's been a complete rewrite from the ground up. This year when I started NaNo I thought a little more preparation would help, and it did, but it just wasn't enough. I didn't spend enough time drumming up background material on my characters and fleshing things out.

No amount of blind drafting would establish who I wanted them to be in specific relation to their viewpoint and symbolism in the story. They would just end up being something random of their own and I'm just too much of a control freak to let that happen. I'm not a big fan of whimsy when it comes to the bigger stuff. ;)

"What am I trying to say? What is this story really about? How do the characters say the things I want to say, and how do they make the story what I want it to be?" Those are the questions that drive me, and while "Just write" will get me a draft, it won't necessarily answer those questions. To draft without getting to the bottom of those problems is an exercise in sheer frustration.

I need to figure some of those things out before I complete my draft.

Meaning! It's all about establishing meaning!


I think what it comes down to is I need a better pre-production process. No amount of NaNo-ing will solve that problem for me, unfortunately.


Eric — Got it.

You really know your process and know what you need to do.

Thanks for the explanation. I find it so interesting how each writer approaches his or her writing so differently.

I hope that, if people read Cathryn's approach and then read about yours, they'll feel free to craft and accept their own writing paths. Then their voices will be authentic — and each as unique as a fingerprint.

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  • My name is Kristin Gorski. I recently earned my doctorate (EdD) in instructional technology and media. My research focuses on technology and literacies, writing in digital spaces, and how media literacy may support academic literacy (among other incredibly interesting topics). On occasion, I’m also a freelance writer and editor. “Write now is good.” is my personal blog about writing, creativity and inspiration (with healthy doses of technology in relevant places). I started it in blogging's heyday (2006) and still post to it, time permitting. If you'd like to collaborate on a project, have writing/technology/creativity info to share, or want to say, "Hi," contact me at kgwritenow (at) yahoo dot com. To read more about me, click on the "ABOUT" link below.


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