I didn’t write 50,000 words – so I don’t get the badge. But I wouldn’t have got it anyway, as I never bothered to sign up officially on the site. Even as I began I doubted that I’d complete the big 50k but I’m still a little disappointed.
50,000 words was a big and daft ambition as I’m mothering most of the time right now and I needed to check the proofs of Cold Light during November. But more than this, I couldn’t leave my research alone.
I’ve been reading up on cognitive dissonance. Researching the way people who have an opinion on something will filter out any evidence that seems to contradict that opinion. Even scientists, if there’s room for interpretation of their results and someone with an interest is paying them.
One of the ways we overcome a particular kind cognitive dissonance is called Sour Grapes.
Well, I didn’t want the stupid NaNoWriMo badge anyway…
I have been reading about historical revisionism – the way organisations do this and why, and how they’re able to resolve the dissonance between claiming to be honest and reliable while spinning / editing / censoring and lying about themselves by claiming (and really believing) that they are enhancing, clarifying, simplifying and improving. And how on the smaller scale individuals in bad marriages do this.
I was reading more about memories. Revising things I already knew. We’re all bad historians of our own lives. We all revise. We all have blind spots about our own self justification (the means by which we sometimes resolve dissonance) but others’ is glaring.
We’re all biased, unreliable hypocrites.
I know these things have always been interesting and important to me. In one way or another all my writing is circling around the problem of telling the truth, and of using words to do it. But I have been realising why it is so important to me. I don’t want to say any more about it right now, other than it has been tiring.
I found it all so interesting that although I was able to plan the rest of my chapters and write a lot more than I thought I was going to, and that I solved a couple of plot and character problems, and found out what I needed to know about Crufts, and decided I needed to know a tiny bit more about postmen and about fixing cars, and I got over the blank-page doldrums, I didn’t get 50,000 words.
Hooray for everyone else who participated!