NaNo (again): or the risks of competition

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-150In the end, I couldn’t help myself. I haven’t done National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short) since 2011, and with the memory of how difficult that one was (for no obvious reason) and how emotionally exhausting my work life was after that point, it was easy enough to just stay well enough out of it. And I don’t write as much as I used to. But every November I miss the excitement of it in a nostalgic way. This year one of my writer friends decided to do it, and it really made me think….

I did have notes for a character I wanted to use someday, but I never envisioned him as a protagonist, which meant I needed at least one other person. And there is no plot. So, stealthily, I began writing on November 1st, not much, but I began. I didn’t sign up though; my creative energy was very low, few ideas formed, and nothing was flowing, no spark. How could I a commitment I’d only fail at? I know myself well enough to see that a failure this year might keep me away forever. So I waited.

The days rolled by and I got a few words here and there, but I had no big ideas, no plot, characters just mindlessly going through motions….until yesterday. Yesterday, I started to make connections, understand something about my characters’ secrets and strong images began to form. So I signed up. Thousands and thousands of words behind, but I signed up. The working title isĀ Beautiful Dreamer and seems to be about a naive girl with a ridiculous vision of her future and the troubled man she thinks can make it happen for her. Now I’ve got to make the story happen. I have the time, if not the energy, but I’m going for it. Wish me luck.

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