The Question of Inspiration and NaNoWriMo

So NaNoWriMo is coming.

(I had to.)

But in all seriousness. If you’ve been following my blog for any stretch of time, you know that NaNo is a big deal for me. Attempted every year since 2006, completed every year since 2008. This will be my 4th year as an ML – the municipal liaison (regional coordinator) for an area. My 2009 NaNo novel is my MFA manuscript.

This is a big deal for me.

And I’m not ready for this year.

I’m not worried about the story. I plan on writing characters I know very well – and a story of theirs I enjoy. All I really need is an idea, and I’ll be fine in terms of November writing. So I know the words will come.

I don’t really doubt my ability to do it. If I win, this will be my eighth completion of the challenge. I’ve proven that I can do it, even in more pressing time constraints. (You try writing 50k while taking 8 classes and running lights for a stage show. I speak from experience. It’s not fun.) So with a serving job and little else, I should be just fine.

I even know that I have a guaranteed night of writing, each Friday. A good artist friend of mine has been struggling to stay motivated with a comic project he’s been working on for pretty much the whole time I’ve known him. We’ve decided that November is a good month to buckle down in, so we’re dedicating Fridays – our usual social get-together day – to creating. We’ve got several “creator” friends. This will be good for us.

So what am I so worried about? To be honest, I’m not sure. Something in me just doesn’t feel ready. It feels like this month has snuck up on me in a dark alley and shoved my head in a black bag. Amusingly enough, I was looking at my Timehop for today, and a year ago I have a post that sounds very similar to this one up on here. Last year I was struggling with excitement for the month. I was tired, working a new job in a field I was unfamiliar with, and still struggling a great deal with my depression. I didn’t know what I was doing, I’d just moved to Richmond not too long ago, and everything seemed like chaos. This year, I’m starting my new serving job, I’ve been on meds for a while now and they’re pretty stable, but I’m still at a bit of a loss for the month. I’m excited enough, but I feel like I’m too tired to be excited.

It’s unfortunate, really. NaNoWriMo was what convinced my to change my major. It’s what turned my life into what it is today. I wouldn’t change anything for where I am; I love being a writer. But there’s a piece of it that’s starting to feel like work.

What really confuses me is that I’m still really interested in my stories. I have ideas! And I know where the story needs to go, and what I want to do next! And So Many Ideas and yet when I put my hands on the keyboard and my butt in the chair…nothing. I’ve had a chapter in limbo for my fanfic for probably over a month now. I feel bad for my readers, but I just can’t get the words out.

I hope November can kick me out of it. Being an ML means I have an external reason to win: I don’t want to show my region the weakness. I need to win for them, to be a role model.

So we’ll see. (Also, sorry about the late blog post. As you can see, I’m doing so well with writing things…)

See you again in November, literary luminaries.



3 thoughts on “The Question of Inspiration and NaNoWriMo

  1. i am so with you on this. I have my outline and it’s book #2 of a series, so no getting to know the characters, world, etc. I just don’t have the excitement, maybe because I haven’t written anything beyond a short story since last NaNo? Kinda nervous, though I always am and it quickly goes away. We’ll just have to encourage each other this year and make sure we hit our 50k!!

  2. You’re not alone. This year feels different. I’m excited but don’t feel anywhere near ready. I’ve gone through the motions of what needs to be done but it hasn’t really clicked that the who shebang starts this Sunday. On Sunday I am expected to do this thing. Every day for 30 days. Gah. But as you pointed out, we’ve felt this way before. And succeeded against worse odds. Hopefully it’ll click into place. Soon. Like, really soon. Like, tomorrow would be nice…

  3. Yeah…I’m definitely not convinced that November starts tomorrow. Pretty sure it’s going to be October for another week. At least, that’s what the large part of my brain that’s in denial says. I really wish I was starting something new instead of making myself plow ahead with finishing, (yes, yes, I’m a rebel) but I’m SO CLOSE. I’m really glad you made that support group on Facebook, ‘cuz I’m going to need it.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s