I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. The Magnum Opus is up to seven and a half thousand words, and the stuff seems to be pouring out of me. I'm a bit afraid that I'm over writing in fact. The seven thousand words has so far consisted of Our Hero having a drink with a friend, going home, then going out for a drink on his own, and I'm a bit worried that it's five pages of dialogue followed by twenty three pages of descriptions, internal monologues and more descriptions.
I'm trying not to worry about this. I just signed up for NaNoWriMo, the project to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, and I'm adopting their "get it down on the page and don't be self-critical" approach to writing. All I'm doing is splurging, getting the words out of my head and onto the page. It's something of a relief, after years of idly playing with this novel in my head, to finally get it out into the real world.
The satisfaction, the joy, the sheer bloody pleasure I feel when I've spent a couple of hours pouring words onto a blank page - it's a fantastic high. I'm left wondering why I waited so long before writing. I love, love, love it, and I love the feeling I get when I'm done, the warm glow of satisfaction and fulfilment. For years people have asked me what I want to do for a living, and I've never dared to say "be a writer" because it seemed like a childish fantasy. Now I have no compunction about it. I want to be a writer, because I can't imagine anything making me happier than I feel when I churn out a page of prose.
I'll be writing a completely different novel for NaNoWriMo, incidentally, based on an even older plotline, a detective story which I conceived when I was about, ooh, 20. That plot line has stayed stuck in my head since then, and its format of ludicrous twists and playing with the genre cliches should be much easier to write over the month. In fact, given my progress so far on the Magnum Opus, I'm a bit scared that 50,000 words will just count for the first chapter of the detective novel...