Gritty Details

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday's Storyteller: Five Days Late, But Let's Try NaNoWriMo

So. Back in 2012 and 2014, I won at National Novel Writing Month. And what I mean by that is that I was able to write 50,000 words each time, though one of the novels was completed while the other remains unfinished.

There have been a lot of reasons why I have waffled on doing NaNoWriMo this year. The reason why I didn't do NaNoWriMo last year, by contrast, was obvious: I was working two jobs and doing my student observation and teaching credential classes. There just wasn't enough time in the day to write more than just a OneWord or a poem or a short story here and there. Don't get me wrong: I'm still very busy with work, though I'm not doing as many things as last year. But let's just break down the list of why I haven't exactly been working on any long writing projects, let alone novels, shall we?

- Too many ideas. Over the year, I've brainstormed a lot of ideas for novels. I have done nothing with any of them. And it's still going to be a huge hurdle for me to jump as I start NaNoWriMo. Gotta figure out what to write. Gulp.

- Election anxiety. Yep, you probably saw that coming. Instead of being creative during my spare time, I've been obsessively reading articles about the 2016 election, terrified that if the orange man wins, I may not even live long enough to write another novel. Hyperbole? Maybe. But the guy's a nightmare. Speaking of nightmarish potential presidents, did you read my introspection yet? VOTE! ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE IN A SWING STATE! PREFERABLY FOR NOT THE ORANGE MAN!

- My job. I now work full-time at my school, and it's definitely eaten up my hours. Besides just teaching, I need to prep for about fifteen separate students each week, all with vastly different educational needs. It takes a lot of effort to give them the best learning experience I can offer.

- My wedding. That's a no-brainer, though now it's over and done, and it's certainly not encroaching on my NaNoWriMo time. So you can't use that excuse anymore, Roddie!

- My future. My wife and I have been really focusing on what comes next: Where we live, what my next step as a teacher here, what her next step as an artist is. We don't want to simply become paralyzed where we are. Sure, with my income, we can pay off our rent and afford food, but we want to eventually raise a family. We want kids. We want a house. And in order to achieve those, we can't just sit around. We need to spend our energies on making the future we want happen.

So, why start NaNoWriMo with only twenty-five days left to write, which means I would have to write two thousand words a day to catch up? Simple (and totally not an excuse to not write Storytellers for the entire month. I'm still writing! Hush!): I need to. I need to get my creative juices flowing again. I especially need something to work on should the election go very, very badly. Something to distract me, make me feel better, and remind me of who I truly am: A goddamn writer. Even if I can't get to 50,000 words this time around, I will have least pushed as hard as I could given the circumstances and my mental and emotional state. That's worth something.

Maybe I will fail NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe I won't. Regardless, it's time for me to add something new to my literary repertoire.

As I've done in the past, you'll see updates each Saturday (though only three this time instead of four, due to the dates that Saturdays fall this year on the calendar). So for now, word count? A whopping zero. And I still am not sure what the plot of the novel will be.

Hoo, boy. I've got my work cut out for me. I'm officially silly for trying this, aren't I?

And yet, here we are. Let's go!

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