I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, which feels very strange indeed. I’ve delved into the passionate obsessive NaNo mindset with such glee in previous years, even when deadlines and other commitments have made it tricky for me.
There will be writing, have no fear of that. But as I discovered back when I was working on this particular novel-in-progress for the Clarion Write-a-thon, this particular project (yes, still the steampunk YA) is not one that benefits from being written fast. I could do something completely new for NaNo, of course, but that would mean giving up on the hope that I could finish my novel this year.
There are a bunch of other excuses of course, such as GENRECON! and one of my twice yearly “fortnights of gainful employment” at the university, but those things wouldn’t actually matter if I was in a writing-my-fingers-off frame of mind. And I’m not. This has been a year of stopping and starting, of career decisions, and of taking every weird and wonderful opportunity tossed my way, regardless of what my plans were before. Some of this will come to naught, and some may change my life. Eventually.
The writing-and-publishing life though is a slow and unsteady one, where seeds sometimes don’t flower for months or years. In the mean time, I am on track to hitting a word count total of 150,000 for the year – not the 200,000 I aimed for, but on the other hand I actually did some housework this year, and those hours mount up.
I’m doing okay. I plan to spend the weekend with my people, being inspired and kickstarted into the next phase of my writing life. I have a new novel coming out early next year, thanks to Ms Livia Day (a seed sown so many years ago I can’t tell you). Oh, and it’s my last year before little Jem starts kindergarten, and I don’t want to wish a minute of that away.
November will be, for me, a month of writing and writing and writing. I hope those of you doing NaNoWriMo have a blast as I toddle along behind you, enjoying the vicarious buzz.