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Meanwhile, November. - Balinares

Nov. 7th, 2011

12:46 pm - Meanwhile, November.

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I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but I'm sitting out NaNoWriMo.

It's not so much a decision I made as a foregone conclusion I found myself internalizing over the last few months. Last year already, my participation did not go over smoothly, not without causing minor household drama anyway, and that was with one less baby home.

But this year, a tipping point has been passed, and I'm sitting this one out.

Mind, it's not a matter of time. Of course I don't have time, but I didn't have time last year either. That doesn't have to matter. It's all about finding time somehow. I once wrote a chapter late at night in a lightless room hundreds of miles from home under the dim dim glow of a craptacular netbook's screen on the day of a funeral; that's the sort of thing you end up doing. I could probably do it again, one way or another.

But I'm not. Here I am, sitting there while half a thousand friends partake in the mad intense race and bolster each other with tales of wordcounts and crazy plot twists. What bugs me is that my brain wants to read this as a sign I'm missing out on life.

NaNoWriMo was hard. I didn't expect that not doing it would be hard too.

But that's the whole point. I may not be good at accepting it, but missing out on some bits of life is what I signed up for when I decided to have kids. This is me trying to be adult about it. (I'm not doing great at it, but we're not exactly talking of my core set of qualifications, here.) At some point you've got to go home and be a family man, as the wisdom of the early 90's would put it.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to keep writing unrelated bits of stuff, at a somewhat less involved pace; the rationale is that NaNo tends to drain me dry of literary oomph anyway, so I might as well use the fallow year for other stuff. (This is not working out very well thus far but my externalizing it here is part of addressing the issue.)

So, right. You gentlemen of November fortunes, have a good one on my behalf.

Comments:

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From:kefen
Date:November 7th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC)
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I fully believe in your ability to come up with a less demanding way (at least schedule-wise) to express your literary oomph over a longer period of time...

It's a bit early, I know, but I still wish you the best NaNoWriYe 2012 ever, my dear friend!
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[User Picture]
From:balinares
Date:November 7th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I've known you for about a third of my life now, and I wonder how I ever managed before. <3
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From:kefen
Date:November 8th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
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The feeling is mutual, sweetie!
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From:chipotle
Date:November 7th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
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This is my sixth year of failing to participate in NaNoWriMo, I'm proud (?) to say. Ironically enough, I *am* trying to work on a novel and *am* trying to write a thousand words a day on it this month. (Today I have written 58, so I have some distance to go.) At any rate, what kinda works for me -- not reliably but more often than not -- is just committing to write *something* every day. It could be a word target, it could be a time target (i.e., "I'll find a way to set aside a half-hour today for writing").

I suppose when one has children, while it's accurate to say you're missing out on some bits of life, you're gaining other bits that aren't going to happen *without* being a parent. It's probably a worthwhile tradeoff.
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From:balinares
Date:November 9th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
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Well, the tradeoff thing is pretty much my thinking, yes, although it's more of a long-term investment. :) The first few months are not unlike having a particularly loud puppy that just won't learn to poop outside (and now the lady is going to kill me for this, I know), but it gets better when they learn to talk and begin to have opinions and to generally be surprising.

I know that writing everyday, even if only just a little, is a thing real writers do. I've got to try it eventually. I managed it for a little while, two years back. I kept it up for a few weeks, and then it was NaNo time and by December 1 I was all out of words and it all stopped abruptly. Maybe this year is a good time to start again, slow and steady. I've got a number of plotbunnies languishing in my backyard by now, and maybe it's time they start pulling their weight around her, dammit.
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