Friday, November 13, 2015

November Update: NaNoWriMo

With the arrival of November comes yet another National Novel Writing Month. My eleventh year participating (although if I'm honest, it's really only the tenth year I've committed to it: the first year I wrote a thousand words then quit). My seventh year as municipal liaison.

And I'm tired.

I was tired last year, but decided to keep on keeping on. I'll get excited by the time next NaNo rolls around, I thought to myself. I'll have the time and energy to keep the region afloat. Besides, even if I don't, I have a co-ML and a whole region full of veterans to back me up.

The trouble is, we're all tired. NaNo has been an amazing way to bring us together and encourage us to develop a writing practice...but the thing is, we've all been doing it for so long, that nothing much changes in November. We already write every week. We already go out once a month to socialize. We have all taken our writing to the next level, to the point where the idea of writing quantity over quality for fifty-thousand words is ludicrous.

So we're at a weird turning point with NaNo. None of us want to lead next year. We'd all participate if one of it is, but there have been talks of mass exodus. Would anyone take over if we all disappeared? It's hard to say.

And while we can't all stick around with nostalgia as our only region, I do feel the need to leave the region in good hands before I quit. It's true, I may burn out (I may already be burned out: I've been late to every event I've gone to, I've skipped events, I have made other people write pep talks and make event reservations) if I don't quite now, but as much as NaNo and this town have done for me, I feel a lot of responsibility to take care of it. Like putting my parents in a nursing home, or something. I can't just leave them at their house, knowing their health may fail at any moment.

From a professional standpoint, it's probably time for me to retire. Trying to run a freelance editing business, write end edit my own novels, write for the Cafe every month, put out a short story collection, and potentially start a publishing company...I need my Novembers to be free and flexible. I can spend a few hours each month making sure all of the writing functions happen every month, but it's hard to put together and attend 3-5 events a week for a month. Even if it's only a month.

Part of this might be the Week Two Blues for NaNo. Some of it might be that Jack has already basically given up writing this month. Part of it might be the continued rejection of stories I think are really good. A lot of it is that I've been sick and exhausted.

I'm going to finish out this NaNo, though. I may not hit fifty thousand words. I may be the most uninspiring ML ever. The region may suffer a bit from my lack of enthusiasm. But I'll see it through this year. And next year, I may need someone to slap the ML application out of my hands.

Because unless someone takes it away from me, I will probably keep doing it forever.

It's probably a good thing I'm not doing weekly posts on the Cafe for NaNo this month. I've had nothing good to say about the event this year.

Even my novel, that was going so well the first week, I've started to dislike and not want to work on anymore. So. Right on track, basically. My pattern is that I finally get into it once I hit thirty thousand, so if I can just write ten thousand more words, it should get easier.

At least I am not alone.I have a whole bunch of writing friends to help me through this.

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