NaNoWriMo Sparkless: An IWSG Post

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Here we are, right in the middle of the first week of October. This is one of my favorite times of the year for a lot of reasons. The temperature starts to dip back into that cozy one perfectly for snuggling in couch blankets. The air has that strange, lovely smell about it. Pumpkin spice and candy corn is everywhere. And, of course, there’s Halloween. I love Halloween.

But there’s something else about this time of year that gets my blood pressure working, even if it’s something that I do technically enjoy.

NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month.

I love NaNoWriMo, I really do. I’ve participated it in every year since I first discovered it back in 2009. But I haven’t actually “won” since 2013.

And that’s when things started to change a bit, I think. It’s not that “winning” is necessarily the most important thing about NaNo, but there’s no doubt that “losing” so many years in a row is a bit of a downer, and bit by bit other things started to change too.

When I first started NaNo, for example, there was a huge sense of community about it. I spent as much time chatting with people in the forums as I did actually writing. I participated in word sprints, did a tea exchange with a lovely lady I met in the All-Ages forum, and competed with the other Nova Scotia writers for the highest word counts per day. But slowly, surely, I started to drift away from all that. By the time NaNo came around in 2017 I felt completely alienated somehow. The forums began to feel like a solid wall of strangers whom I didn’t have the energy to converse with. Word sprints felt like organized chaos that I couldn’t fit into my life. The community in general seemed as though it had been driven away from me, even though the truth is that I drove myself away from it.

Now NaNo feels a lot different. I still look forward to it, because it still affords me that little push of motivation to write more than usual, ignore my inner editor, and just GET STUFF DONE. But the real excitement doesn’t seem to be there anymore. The fun doesn’t seem to be there anymore.

A lot has changed in my life since NaNoWriMo 2017, so it’s just possible that the spark my be reignited this year, but I’m not holding my breath. I suspect that something has been lost that will never be found again and that is, as you may expect, rather sad.

I’m still going to participate. I’m still going to do my best to “win”, even though it’s been years since I was able to find the time and effort to do so. And I’m going to really try to rejoin the community and see if I can’t relocate that spark. But I’m also going to do my best not to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.

Wish me luck. And if you’re participating, look me up, username: Toreshi. Maybe we can create a new spark together. 🙂

One thought on “NaNoWriMo Sparkless: An IWSG Post

  1. I kind of feel like I need something to reignite the spark in my writing life too. I considered finally giving NaNoWriMo a try this year, but I don’t think that’s really what I need right now. But I do need something.


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