Back in 1999, some hipster brought a bunch of other hipsters together for a writing challenge. The goal? For each of them to complete a novel within a month (or otherwise 50,000 words, which is the standard for most printed books…apparently). Not only that, they would do this during the start of the holiday season, November, because only the most boss authors can finish a 50k document in the midst of madness. Oddly enough, some of them completed the challenge, prompting others to be as boss as them in future gatherings for the month of November. Thirteen years later, the humble number of 21 writers grew to over 200,000 today, making all of us hipsters. Yay.
While I may have embellished the history of its founding, that is otherwise the story of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). I discovered this lovely concept back in 2007, and managed to meet Zombie Joe through some gatherings. I sadly don’t have as much contact with as I would like to, but we have both managed to keep tabs on and participate in NaNoWriMo when we can. And despite the fact I’ve been intense about NaNoWriMo, from then to 2011 I’ve never finished a single original 50k document. I have a total of two unfinished stories I wrote during those times I could participate, and while I thought there were more that appears to be the lot (that I can find).
I bring up my NaNoWriMo story (never-ending that it be) not just because I haven’t told it yet, but also to note how very much NaNoWriMo 2012 was going to be my year. I reached the point in my life where I’ve gotten tired of leaving things unfinished and not completing tasks that need doing. I was going to be damned if I let myself not only not participate in NaNoWriMo 2012, but fail to complete the goal of 50k. I had the perfect setup. The story I intended to write was erratic and insane, which allowed me to write whatever I wanted without caring too much of the consequences (other than the editing later on). My current Lent allowed me to put more energy into my craft and other things that needed doing (sexiness intended by the way). And while I may have done a lot better on keeping up with chores, productions, friendships, etc. I was certain I could make time for all that and especially my novel.
It is with great shame I publicly throw in the towel for NaNoWriMo once more. It’s actually been well over a week since I wrote anything for my story, but that wouldn’t normally keep me from writing on. I’m a stubborn one, even when I know I’m defeated, and I would have gotten to 50k in January 2013 at the latest. What stopped me was the ever present pressure to focus on priorities. I have very little time to give of myself to the world because of the work schedule I currently lead, and very little to the hours I am actually capable of working with the world in general (in other words, too awake during AM hours). Free time I had was apparently used for things right before me such as day to day chores, which is what I wanted to do, but had to be pushed away so I could write. As the projects I set for myself continued to build up, other deadlines began to loom up, ones which I couldn’t afford to give up.
As ever, my lack of keeping the focus and preparing for the future has defeated me once again. But this is progress, as much as I admit there is a loss. I now not only understand what I’m capable of a little more, but have the sense to let something go when there are things to be doing (again, sexiness intended). NaNoWriMo is a lark, as much as I would like to be otherwise. It means a lot to me because I give it power, and ever am I loathing to break promises, even if they are only to myself. No one is going to judge me for being a better person who works upon that which brings great change to my life. If they are, they will have to take solace in the fact I will come back to the story in time, just like all the other stories. It’s another one of those long term promises I give to myself, but it will be done in time. For now I will do what I can to make right with the world, and hopefully I’ll be in a position to make magic happen in NaNoWriMo 2013, 2012 predictions be damned.