Nanowrimo 2013 did not get done! I didn’t finish this year. I quit just before Thanksgiving, and for no reason other than I was boring myself silly. Time and solitude were on my side more than ever before, with both girls in school and days completely to myself, yet it felt impossible to escape my tired old ideas, characters and plotlines. This nano-apathy started a couple years ago when I realized that every novel I’d written repeated the same theme with the same characters in rotating locations They always had the same problems, same motivations, same adventures, same quirks. Blah, you know?
Last December (2012), I accidentally saved a short article I had written over my completed nano novel and I lost the whole 50K in a second…with a single, thoughtless click. It was definitely startling. I expected to be devastated, but I wasn’t, and to lose that body of work was strangely liberating. To read about it, click here.
What I didn’t like about my novel this year is that even though I didn’t want to write about the same stuff of the past ten years, the same stuff kept trying to be written, and from my vantage point, this stuff was a snore. So, last week, when I hit the 30K point just before our company came for Thanksgiving, I faced a choice.
Choice #1: I could hunker down, remove myself from much of Thanksgiving, write the last 20K words and cross the finish line in time. I type really fast and I’m great at generating lots of bullshit very quickly. I could get it done!
Choice #2: I could cook, hang out with family that we don’t get see as often as we’d like, enjoy our new house in Vermont, actually READ, learn how to play (and love) Chinese checkers, make fires in our enormous fireplace, and go with the flow. I could quit!
Should I break my streak when I still had the chance to win it? Why not, you know? It really didn’t take long for me to decide to stroll through that door marked “STOP WRITING.” I closed the document, shut the laptop, poured myself a glass of wine, and relaxed.
I really DO want to write a novel, just not the kind I’ve written that has helped me win nano for so long. It’s time for me to get out of the nanowrimo rut that I’ve gotten myself into. Maybe I’m done with nanowrimo for good, or I might simply need a break. Either way, December is here and I have lots of novels I want to READ and lots of old -fashioned journal writing I need to catch up on.
We’ll go from there.