Something familiar, yet new

Wow. Seven months. Where does the time go?

Worse, what did I do during that time?

I can answer that easily.

Not a damn thing.

Hit a wall of writer’s block unlike I’ve ever had before. It was crippling. Writer’s block mixed in with a huge amount of self-confidence loss. I spent a lot of time wondering what I was doing, why I thought I could write, wrestling with the decision to simply give this up and move on.

That happens every so often. It’s that self-confidence which really screws with my perceptions of self and ability.

I know I have good ideas. I know I have some ability to write. I know that the rest is practice and perseverance.

So the intervening time was spent reading. A lot of reading. Volumes of reading. Books, blogs, everything that was written down I was reading.

Then I stumbled on something. Something amazing. Something invigorating. Something motivating.

See, I have a problem. I love NaNoWriMo. I do. I love the concept. I love the idea. I love everything about it except…

…except the month in which it occurs. November is simply a horrid time for me, as I’m sure it is for many. The successful NaNo’ers manage to power through it, even though it is a bad month for them, too.

I’m not one of those successful NaNo’ers.

Holidays and family obligations get in the way and I ‘lose’. ‘Losing’, while not catastrophic on a physical level, is still quite devastating mentally. I lose because I couldn’t keep up with the pace, not because the pace was grueling. I can write 4k a day easily so 1667 is a cakewalk. It’s that during the month of November, too much in my personal life is happening and there is no physical way I can get everything done. So days pass where there is no 1667 happening and I lose momentum. Losing momentum puts me behind. Being behind ends up with me going ‘screw it’ and dropping.

A whole month has passed with good intentions and yet nothing to show for it. December? Even worse.

Then along trots Camp NaNoWriMo, showing up in my inbox. Camp NaNoWriMo is “an off-season alternative to National Novel Writing Month”. Same concept as NaNoWriMo, but during a different time of the year. A time of the year that isn’t crammed with holidays coming right on the back of each other and the familial expectations aren’t crushing me beneath the weight.

It operates more like a month at camp, where you are assigned cabins with your choice of other cabin mates, whether it is ‘surprise me’ or ‘I want to be with like-minded who fit with my interests’.  Hopefully, this mix of personalities will help to support and cheerlead each other.  I’ll have a smaller group to interact with and not get lost in the sea of thousands upon thousands of fellow writers all trying to carry on a conversation in the same room.

So, I signed up. I have an idea now. I have a month to get it together. I’m not ‘locked in’ to 50K. I’ve sent my length at 40K. The best thing of all, it’s during a time of the year that I have nothing else going on!

If I can’t pull it together now, I might as well hang up writing and go back to my other hobbies like ceramics.

edit: I’m found as suits_me at Camp NaNoWriMo. I tried to use my name Braden but apparently there was someone who was acting like a spammer that claimed the name. Ah well. suits_me pretty much…suits me. 🙂

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