I’m calling it. I’m out — at least partway, but I’ll get to that.
Honestly, I first considered quitting a couple days into the month but felt a lot of emotional resistance & wanted to stick it out.
But after looking things over I realized that if I press through at this point I’m just making a shit ton more work for myself in first edit.
While that’s acceptable — and putting off the misery is a comfortable habit — I’ve decided it’s not the wisest use of my time this month.
Honestly, I know I could still make the 50k goal, or even my own self-imposed misery of 80k — but it would come at a cost.
For one thing, I’d be making an already hectic month absolutely hellish.
I launched my homebrew Call of Cthulhu game on the 2nd (when the veil was thin) & have been feverishly reading & writing to not only create a world, but learn a new RPG system. I’ve spent hours reading handbooks & campaigns, hashing out scenarios, creating characters, writing tutorials, drawing maps, designing handouts, & all the extra stuff I needed to do to make the game as cursed as I’d envisioned it.
I’m also spending an entire week traveling & couch surfing — going to shows & visiting friends I don’t often get to see. I told myself I could keep up my writing while I was there, but that’s just not viable.
My Seattle compadres — my brothers, nerd friends & favorite musical collaborators — just moved back to the PNW after years in S. Carolina & I’ve been telling my writing buddy in Portland that I’d come visit for FOUR friggin’ YEARS.
I’m already a bad friend even if I don’t spend her birthday weekend on her couch with my laptop whining about how my brooding fiddle-playing fuckboy of main character is cocking up my word count with his cryptic Darcy-esque bullshit (you may assume I want to fight my main character & you may be right, but that’s a whole ‘nother post, pardner).
& then, in my infinite wisdom — I decided to do the #ChapbookChallenge. & that I’m gonna stick with. I have two partial chapbook manuscripts that I’ve been sitting on —the cosmic-themed “A life in the sky” & a tarot-themed one with no working title. Though my poetic dedication & heart has waxed & waned over the years — I’ve been doing this too long to have so little to show for it. I don’t know, guys, I’m restless & I want to get this work done.
When I boil it down — while it’s fun & I highly recommend it — I don’t really need the #NaNoWriMo framework at this point. I’ve ‘won’ several November challenges & camps since I started participating in 2007 & I have fantastic writing buddies that support me year round. When I dug into my manuscript files, I realized that I actually have NINE complete manuscripts in first or second draft. I don’t actually need to write this draft — though I will because I love the story — what I need to do is get invested in editing the drafts I’ve already written.
Yes, I thrive on the unattainable — at any time I’m at least 90% yearning, longing, &/or running headfirst into multiple things because someone told me it was impossible. & I’m a tested expert when it comes to high pressure, deadline driven, hail Mary creative work (it’s not a special skill, it just kind of happens when you do time in print journalism). Yet, I damn well know there’s a cost to functioning like that & I’m slowly getting better at this self-care shit.
So, best of luck to all the determined #NaNoWriMo writers. I’ll be seeing you all at camp where I’ll be editing one of my TEN completed manuscripts & focusing on getting things finished & out into the world.