National Novel Writing Month. Another year. If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2008, with mixed success, but with consistent enthusiasm. I know you’re expecting a long, exclamation point-ridden post about how amazing it is every year, and how incredible I feel taking part in such a massive creative undertaking, but it’s going to be a little different this time.
I love National Novel Writing Month. I’ve loved all four years I’ve participated as an ML, and the collective effort I’ve been a part of with Inkwell Imaginings and my writing group friends. You are all amazing, and, success/participation or not, I’m so proud of you all for everything you’ve worked on and accomplished in your creative lives! Keeping the socialization aspect of NaNo in the forefront is typically what drives me.
This year was my eleventh year! Eleven! That’s craziness to me. It feels like just last year that Jess and I embarked on NaNo together and took up our ML mantels to rally our central Massachusetts regions to victory. NaNoWriMo is what pulled me out of my badly-written Final Fantasy VIII fan fiction from early high school, and into my badly-written original fiction. It showed me that I was able to imagine more than I ever thought possible. It gave me a reason to exercise my mind and broaden my scope of what I thought belonged on paper. It gave me purpose during the darkening days of New England winter, and the onset of seasonal depression, and warmed me up to something that connected me to other people like me.
NaNoWriMo this year was bitter sweet for me. I’m honestly not even sure why. My second year serving as the Daytona Beach Municipal Liaison brought me to a handful of fantastic people who undertook the challenge, and wound up with more creative content than they started with. I met my 50,000 word goal, and I found a story that has a fair bit of potential. It brought my back my drive and my creativity.
I missed a lot of my old tribe this year, though. Life has put the act of creating on a back burner for so many of us, and it just cements the fact that adulting puts such a demand on time and focus.
So, in the wake of a good NaNo season, I’m going to challenge myself to be more and to do more in my creative life. I’ve purchased two courses on Udemy, hoping to expand my ability to practice, and to add to my accountability. I want to be prolific and work harder and be better. Almost four years after leaving college, I’m gaining my love for creation back, and I need to hang onto that. I need to ride it into the new year and establish new habits now.
Bittersweet, but motivating, I owe NaNoWriMo 2018 the exact thing that brought me to it in the first place: affection for making something new. I’ll be here to push out more and more, and I’ll see National Novel Writing Month in November 2019, ready to lock it down again.
It’s going to take a lot. It’s going to take focus and work, but I’m back. I’m not great at it, but, through and through, I am a writer.