Maybe it’s because I’m behind, and I just can’t seem to catch up.
Maybe it’s because I’m not feeling my novel, even when I’m gelling well with my characters.
Maybe it’s because the NaNo forums really haven’t popped off the way they used to.
….Maybe I’m just not in love with NaNo any more.
It could be timing. I had deadlines all through the first two thirds of October and now I just want to have some fun. The weird high of panic-writing has been fun for me in some previous years, when I didn’t have many deadlines or a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, so it was something different. This year it’s just more of the same. I’m taking on more work at a time when really I just want to play video games and read books and remember what it is I love about writing.
And I haven’t touched the Monstrosity in weeks. I feel guilty about it. NaNo has come first, but it’s not what I really want to be writing. I want to work on poetry and the Monstrosity instead. Rather than building a daily writing habit, as I have in previous Novembers, this year it’s a distraction from other work. It doesn’t feel like fun. It feels like a waste of time.
That’s not fair. These characters, this novel, might one day become something interesting. Rushing it through is in the spirit of NaNo and in previous years, I’ve made something great out of that. But this year it’s making me resent the novel.
I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to work on adding that bit more to Angels and Dead Men every day. I’m going to write this thing until it comes alive, twists in my hands, and turns into the story it was always meant to be. But the end won’t be November 30th. That bit of writing every day or so won’t be 1667 words. I’m taking off the pressure, because Week Two arrived early and is staying late, and I don’t know how else to keep going until I hit pay-dirt. I know there’s gold in these hills somewhere, it’s just going to take longer than I thought to find it.
Letting go of the goal and the deadline feel like a weight off. I feel like I can play again, like I can have fun without the looming work-spectre over one shoulder telling me off for wasting time. And I can focus on those other things I’m meant to be doing: writing the Monstrosity, looking into freelancing, sending poems off to magazines, and researching my thesis. I still want to work on this novel. I still want to write it, and see where it takes me. I’m just letting go of the goal.
Keep on writing, folks. I’ll be writing alongside you.