As someone who has all the inklings potential writers do regarding ideas floating around my head, I know I need to just jump onto them with a violent tackle and tame them onto paper. Floating isn’t doing anyone any good.
I tried to do NaNoWriMo last year, but only made it about a fourth of the way through and ran dry of ideas. Really dry. A barren desert of formless potential.
So my original story is back on the shelf. (Literally. I write better in notebooks.) I’ve always loved writing. I hear the cliched–but true–phrase being thrown around by artists that they’ve been drawing every since they could hold a pencil. Well I can apply that to my story-writing. I’ve been making stories ever since I could hold a pencil. (I didn’t use a pencil, I just, you know, had developed the motor skills to hold a pencil by that point.) I used to read stories to my younger sister, but she was two years younger than me and couldn’t read yet so I ignored all the words on the page and would make up stories to go with the pictures. She was none the wiser, but once she could read she’d yell at me to stick to the story on the pages. Then at night I’d recite stories aloud off the top of my head, but a few years later that got old to her too and I lost my audience. That’s about the time we got some ghetto IBM with a blue screen and white text and I dove into the new world of word processors. Which is unfortunate, because I have no record of any story I’d made/written in my active 15 year time span of a flourishing storytelling childhood.
But despite my vaguely antisocial self growing up completely engrossed in storytelling, once I hit college I stopped writing, and started studying Japanese. I completely lost my ability to come up with new, fresh material, and my bubbling imagination seemed to entirely fizzle out. Even now it’s incredibly vexing, but once I got into fiction translation, I rediscovered the passion I had for writing. Even if I lost my fountain of ideas, translating fiction is extremely difficult. Well, anyone with language ability can translate fiction; it takes a true writer to translate fiction well. To make it sound like it’s always been in English, and yet keep the nuances that the original novel based its story development on. Every novel translation is riddled with fine lines, and there’s something thrilling about walking that tightrope.
Recently, my translation projects have been collecting dust because I’ve been preoccupied with working towards publication. (As an end goal, I need to make sure not to lose sight of this while treading water in all my beloved volunteer projects.) This also includes the reason that I will not be posting my Shigesato Itoi short-shorts online, but details on this will come to light when all is said and done.
So with all my previous projects starting to face neglect, I’ve decided to go back to NaNoWriMo. But I beat up the novel-writing, punched it out big time, kicked its butt, bit its head off, spit in its eyes, and made it wet its pants. Then I replaced it with translation.
I’m sure that come 2012 I’ll have a full-on novel to devote to my newly-formed NaNoTraMo (National Novel Translating Month), but seeing as I already have a pile of things in my personal In-Box, I’m going to spend this November cleaning house.
So my plan is to finish the entirety of Let’s Meet in a Dream once and for all. But there are limitations to what I can post online from this, and surely it doesn’t fit NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 word count goal. So after that I’m going to turn to non-novels and focus on the collection of Shigesato Itoi interviews in gaming magazines; there are quite a lot. I’m a collector at heart, but I don’t actually collect anything; recently however I’ve found myself scavenging Japanese Geocities websites from 1997 and going to used bookstores to find old Japanese gaming magazines from the mid-90’s. I’ve got a good collection gathered, but now my queue of interview translations is pretty big. So now is the time to finally sit down and churn out English versions to post online.
I’m not good at word counts and I don’t know what 50,000 words is going to mean for any of this, but at least I have a goal thanks to the heart of the NaNoWriMo concept. Let’s see where this ends up in a month. 🙂