I’ve given this some thought. I have three novels in embryo form in my head. I need to spend time in the white heat of inspiration. I haven’t written anything of any length for far too long.
Writer friends I respect and admire have registered and are sharpening their virtual pencils, ready for tomorrow.
So why am I not joining this sister/brotherhood of novelists?
The very act of registration joins you to a community. You can post up the word count each day, you can post snippets for comment, you can find out how everyone else is getting on, and in short, you can happily spend hours in the world of meta-writing, gearing yourself up to write without actually facing up to the page, as Julia Cameron describes it.
For me, writing is not a community exercise. It is private, intense, selfish – and requires me to blot out everything that is happening in the outside world. If I can do this, I will be rewarded with a trance state in which words come direct from my cerebral cortex and appear on my screen seemingly without conscious effort – it is a state of bliss which can last for days or even weeks. Having to report back to a website can only destroy my illusion that I am in my created world alone. I write for my pleasure, I write to understand myself, to express myself, to be most truly myself, yet, paradoxically, in that ego state I am unselfconscious and, best of all, the inner critic is silent, or, even better, absent.
No feedback from friends and peers, however helpful and positive, will keep me in that state. I will be pulled back into the world of interaction, critical detachment, wondering and caring what the world will think of my baby while I should only be concerned with shaping it.
To everyone who has joined, I wish you wholeheartedly the very best of luck. May you be kissed with inspiration, may your ideas fall into perfect sentences, may this month see you with those 50,000 words under your belt.
One word of advice – NEVER TELL ANYONE WHAT YOU ARE WRITING. Talking and writing cancel each other out.