weeks upon weeks of inactivity

I can make excuses, but it won’t help. For those who follow me, I apologise. I have something on the way, though it may take slightly longer than first thought. Until it arrives, I’d like to ask you a question I’ve been wondering about recently:
What exactly is ‘purpose’? Where does it come from? And how do you know when you’ve found it?
Let me know.
Emblem Black (2)

2 thoughts on “weeks upon weeks of inactivity

  1. I remember an entry where you talked about entering this challenge where you have to write 50 000 words in a month, but I can’t seem to find it. I was wondering whether you succeeded and how the experience was. Do you think that the quality of the story might decrease if the number of words is specified like this?

    When I was younger, I often thought about the purpose of life. I think that was because I’d feel like I would be wasting my life if I had no idea what I was living for. Everyone around me seemed so happy to have dreams and aspirations, like my sister who wanted to become a doctor to heal people, my friend who loves drawing, or a girl who loved to be a model. I used to think that someone needed a “purpose” in order to be valuable. Of course, this idea came with a lot of pressure to think of something. I started to become increasingly unhappy in my life.


  2. Dear Katniss,

    I apologise for the late reply. As you may have guessed, I am moving house at the moment and every free second I have is dedicated to cleaning, building, dismantling or repairing – and, of course, earning a living. To answer to your question about the quality of NaNoWriMo stories, I think we first have to refocus: what is the aim of producing that amount of words in one month?

    If you want to get that amount of words on paper, as well as holding down a day job and possibly a family, then you don’t have to for rewrites and you certainly don’t have time for micro-editing. The only thing you can do is to plug away, using your unbridled creativity to fix any problem you might encounter. The organisers recommend only a skeleton plot structure going into the challenge, and some people have no storyboard at all.

    The effect of this is a wild outpouring of good storytelling, bad storytelling, and everything in between. At the end of it, you have a novel – true, it is near the lower word limit for a novel, but a novel it is. It is also unfinished. While you might have a beginning, a middle, and an end, that alone does not make it a finished product. As Hemingway once said: “The first draft of anything is shit.” Your job is far from over once you get the words on paper, but arguably the most important part of the process is complete: you now have something meaningful to edit, to re-write, to improve or throw out as you want.

    Is this the best way to write a good novel? Who knows. But it is a springboard for many amateur writers who otherwise just would not get the work done, and a kick in the pants for aspiring novelists like me who want to do it professionally.

    Your summary of the unhappiness that comes with a perceived lack of purpose is quite telling. I feel this unhappiness too, coming both from inside me and from around me. The story I am writing at the moment (slowly, so slowly…) is an attempt to work logically through this ancient problem – and I do believe it is ancient, but with one difference between the people of the past and the people of today: whereas the people in the past would be consumed by the daily pressures of putting food on the table, this is no longer a life-or-death situation for many people in the developed world. Without this to worry about, modern people are free to worry about all kinds of things.

    Thank you for your comment; I hope this proves that I do answer all comments eventually!



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