Probably, the reason is this: I have invested far more time and effort into the NaNo novel this time and have great expectations of myself. This story matters to me. So I don’t want to mess it up.
Last year, when I didn’t know what I was doing and started from scratch with a character, from which a story just evolved, it was easier to gag that bitch of an Internal Editor. If she started saying “that’s not good enough” or “rubbish!” or “call yourself a writer, this is a joke?” – I could just give her a kick and retaliate by saying: “fair enough, but not bad for a total beginner with no time to plan or think”.
This year, not only have I have had time to plan and think through the NaNo book, but in the past 12 months, I have studied the art of writing. I have bought and read books on writing, harvested the internet for sites that teach writing skills, done some critical reading, completed the Open University course “Starting to Write Fiction“, and dragged myself from a state of nearly complete ignorance to one of self-conscious self-awareness.
So, there is more at stake this year. I am no longer a beginner. I have even written one short story that has won a prize and will be published shortly.
My internal editor has thrived on all this extra knowledge. The more you know about how to do it right, the more you see your own mistakes. She is whispering in my ear, constantly, advising me to choose a different word, change that sentence there, revise that paragraph, alter that section and, on a really bad day, telling me to get rid of that chapter completely.
At this rate, I will finish NaNoWriMo in January 2042. Not only will I, in all probability, be dead by then but – as all NaNoWriMos know – that kind of timescale does NOT count as a NaNoWriMo win!
So, back to my Internal Editor. Any tips on how to gag her?