National Novel Writing Month 2019


It’s that time of year again! The time of year when good little boys and girls of the writer persuasion wrack their brains and their fingers, destroy notebooks and laptops alike, and drive themselves to the brink of madness by attempting to write a full 50,000-word novel entirely within the confines of 30 days.

Last year I didn’t really participate in NaNoWriMo for a variety of reasons, many of them stress-related, some of them personal.  I technically signed up and reported some written words, but it was a complete bust in the long run. For the most part I only really signed up at all because I hated the idea of not participating after having previously done so for 8 years in a row. Other than technically keeping my participating streak unbroken, there was really little to no point in my bothering to claim that 9th year spot.

Well, this year is going to be different, my friends. For one thing, because of my stubbornness in signing up last year, this year is my 10th since attempting NaNoWriMo for the very first time. That alone makes it special and makes me feel almost like I have to pull this one off. How can I possibly accept screwing up my 10-year anniversary?!

For another thing, I’m in a much better place this year than I was the last. Mentally, emotionally, physically, financially…everything is just better this year, which means a world less stress and more time and energy that I can use to focus on, you know…actually writing.

But that’s not to say that my participation this year is going to be standard fair. Oh no, as usually I intend to be thoroughly rebellious and totally screw with the system because, apparently, I can’t do anything at all the normal way. Who likes normal anyway?

This year, for my 10th Anniversary NaNoWriMo, I fully intend to write well-more than 50,000 words, but they will not be toward a single novel. Rather, I will be working on all the wonderful thoughts that have been dancing around in my head for months now. That includes working toward the manuscripts of The Other World Books Three, Four, and Five, plus a handful of different fan-fiction ideas I’ve been playing with (almost all of them Good Omens ones…don’t judge me), as well as a variety of short stories and other such things that I’ll be writing for my Patreon.

Does it make sense to split my attention like that? No, not necessarily. But only I know how my brain works, and believe me when I say that this is what’s best in order to keep me writing throughout the month.

The only real question, at this point, is what I’m still doing here, yammering away at you fine people rather than writing fiction? Well, honestly, I just wanted to have a chat! And now that I’ve had one, it’s time to go back to the fiction, my friends. Fiction!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2019? Let me know what your username is so I can add you as a friend! You know having friends to be accountable to makes you significantly more likely to complete the challenge, right? That’s what they tell me, anyway. So let’s be friends! Friends who write fiction!

Yeah, okay, I’m just rambling now. ON TO THE WRITING!

NaNoWriMo Sparkless: An IWSG Post

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

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. 🙂