Last year, between a whole bunch of crazy, I decided to forgo my usual November pastime: NaNoWriMo or as I like to call it, No Sleep November. At the time it was the best thing for me to do. Honestly, last year, a month of bizarre writing schedules was just not something I could handle nor commit to. But it was like a punch in the gut when I dropped out. I felt like a tool, disappointed in myself for allowing myself to contrive a nicely wrapped gift package of excuses.
I told myself I hadn’t prepped my story enough. Then I decided I hated the story I was telling. Then I spun into a cycle of “who am kidding,” and found myself staring at a blank screen on my netbook and empty lines in my NaNo notebook - I get a new one every year and all those pages made my head spin, my heart pound. Was this real? I asked myself. Am I having an anxiety attack over something that is supposed to be fun?
So I stopped. Cold. Dead. In the middle of a sentence, I closed the document, did not save, turned off the computer, and walked away from the table.
I was done.
I’m not sure what I regret the most: dropping out or trying to start in the first place knowing I wasn’t feeling it.
Truth be told, I had actually put NaNo out of my mind until yesterday when I got the first official updates from the NaNo people in my inbox. And I panicked!
I’ve got nothing planned! I’ve got too much on my plate! I’m working now - crazy work hours with an even crazier sleep schedule!
After my moment of sheer and utter panic, I stopped and shook my head in disbelief. What am I doing, I thought? I’m already making excuses and I‘ve got a month. I’ll never get anything done unless, you know, I actually go and do it. I love NaNo. I love the crazy, the fast-pace, the insane daily word counts, the weaving and crafting of a story (no matter how much I might think it sucks). I love my few hours at Barnes and Noble typing furiously and drinking buckets of coffee.
I know that I’ve got a good half dozen story ideas that I can plan out this month and be ready to commit to writing in November. So here I am making a public commitment. Call me out on it if you think I’m slacking. Demand that I post my word count in prominent locations. Throw crazy ideas my way and challenge me to make something out of them. I’m game.