I haven’t properly participated in NaNoWriMo in over a decade. (Holy crap, National Novel Writing Month has been around longer than a decade! I feel old now.) Those half-assed modified years don’t count, if only because I never took them seriously. This year? I figured it wasn’t worth even thinking about.
Then one friend made the assumption that I was participating. My, “Lol! No – did you forget I just had a baby?” response morphed itself into a fairly convincing argument for participating.
Because I’m caring for the little one, I won’t be working for all of November. I’ve been struggling to write something – anything – for so long. I desperately need practice to stretch those storytelling muscles. Particularly as my career/life plan from this point forward is to focus on creative things, which will hopefully include finding ways to make money through those creative things.
Although I will be returning to work, it will be part-time enough to still permit me that creative focus in terms of time, energy, and brain space.
So I need to stretch those writing muscles that have more or less atrophied over the last nine months. Writing – storytelling – is a craft and a skill that requires regular practice and repetition like any other.
Also, 90% of my waking hours I spend with her in my arms. This makes doing anything else a challenge. (As I type this one-handed, she is sleep-sqirming on my chest.) But while everyone tells me that contact is wonderful (it is) and you can’t spoil a newborn (my attachment issues rejoice), she is already nearly four weeks old. As much as I adore the constant snuggles, Future Me will not thank me if I don’t start weaning us both off that comfort dependency.
All this boils down to: yes, I am making a good-faith effort to participate in and win NaNoWriMo in my modified way.
I won’t necessarily be working on a novel. Instead, I’ll be counting everything I write (including blog posts!) and doing one writing prompt each day. I’ll post these prompts over on my brand-new Dreamwidth account. (Dreamwidth theoretically will give me the accountability of community without filling my other blog with unedited drivel of dubious quality.)
Who knows? Maybe I’ll get a new novel out of a prompt.
On that note, please share your favorite prompt sources! I’ll need all the help i can get to track down 30 prompts I care about enough to write. Because yes, I am that picky.
I also plan to get some novel revision done and write/prep at least two short stories for submission. After all, I set a goal for the year of at least two submissions and have so far done exactly none.
November will be an exploratory month. A month of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Will I hit 50,000 words? Highly doubtful. Will I manage a prompt a day? Two short stories? I have no idea how realistic any of these goals are for my new reality. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m going to work my ass off to do what I can. Without losing sight of the wonder that is my daughter.
So. Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?