I wasn't signed up for NaNo until yesterday afternoon, when my coworker and I realized we were both being stupid and really needed to sign up. Am I ready? No. Is she ready? Also no. Which makes NaNo perfect for us.
It's not about worrying, it's not about making flowing sentences, it's about sitting our asses down and getting our ideas onto the page. That book I've been avoiding for two weeks? (And only half-heartedly been working on for the two months prior to that?) I don't have an excuse anymore. I have to work on it. I have to figure something out, even if that something is the wrong place to go, the wrong thing to do. After I've written that wrong something, maybe then I'll have room to write the right something.
A first draft is all you need. Then, LATER, it can be made better. It won't suck forever.
Lately, I've been letting myself get overwhelmed. I'm past the easy part, the introduction, where the world is new and the characters are new and anything I write is viable. Now things have to start building on each other, fitting together, the characters need to start growing and changing, and oh yeah, eventually I need to start working on the plot.
I don't really know who my characters are yet. And you know what the worst part of that is? I probably won't know until I've finished the first draft. That is SO FRUSTRATING. I know who I want them to be, I am still excited to tell the story, but everything feels flat. Well, that's being a writer. At first my main character worked in her parent's inn and longed to see the bigger world. Now, my character avoids working in her parent's inn, because she would rather be collecting plants for the apothecary, whose owners are teaching her about the bigger world and making her want to see it. It's just a slight difference in her characterization, but it's better, and it's enough to make everything I've written feel like shit and leave me with no springboard to move forward.
Which is why NaNo works. It forces me to ignore the fact that I don't have a polished, ready-to-publish set of beginning chapters. I am jumping from a plane without a parachute. I am in the ocean without a raft. Being a writer is like making a living by catching smoke in your hands. Freaking impossible unless you have an iron will and a skewed sense of fun.
Ok, enough with the metaphors. It sucks and we're all crazy and the only reason we do this is because we NEED to tell the stories taking over our heads.
Write to keep the crazy at bay.