It is 11 days until the end of October. That means it’s time once again for everyone who has ever thought about writing a novel, and who also regularly uses the internet, to talk about whether they will attempt NaNoWriMo this year.
I am considering it.
I always consider it. And then usually I attempt it, or some bastardized version of it that fits in better with my schedule.
If I attempt it this year, it will be in one of two ways: a grateful outpouring of pent-up words and creation that spills out in a tsunami of production due to having my faculties back as pregnancy progresses into the honeymoon phase wherein I feel happy and energized and able to take on the world OR an exercise in abject stubbornness because I still still feel like shit and have decided to put more resources into not being conquered by that.
What to write, in either case? Perhaps I could do a compromised NaNo again and set for myself a more modest goal. For example finishing my 15K (projected) word story that is already 25% done, 250 words by 250 painstaking words. Surely THAT would be doable…and if I did it right enough the first time, maybe I could still publish it before Christmas – maybe not simultaneous with its companion novel, but in close proximity.
Or perhaps I could focus on rewrites of the novel that took me 18 months to write, that I finished last spring and have yet to get back to – that’s probably 20K’s worth of words, right there.
Perhaps I could write one of the novellas that are meant to bracket it.
Perhaps I could go back to the novel I had gotten back into over the summer, the old friend that I made good headway with until the cosplay/procreative hurricane hit my life. 50,000 words would finish it, and I wouldn’t even have to subtract pre-written words because I have almost no pre-written scenes on that story. The basic plot has always been clear but the specifics too fuzzy for me to do any scene sketches.
But none of those projects really appeal to me, at least not tonight as I sit here contemplating them, and the mad, inspiring rush that is NaNo. No. What I see myself doing, as I picture it tonight, is saying “fuck it.” Just letting go, and falling into the abyss that is my imagination.
There is a story that I want to write. It’s been tugging at my attention for a couple months now, since my husband got me thinking with one casually cynical comment about the frailty of the church. I know the beginning. The inciting incident. The story has a long, detailed, and utterly glorious prelude that I know in some detail. But what comes after? I have only the pairing, and the barest hint of his state of mind when the real story begins. I know that a story which begins with such fireworks must end in an absolute conflagration…and I have no idea what to burn.
I cannot deny it; part of my wants to simply say fuck it, and let go, and see what happens. That is the point of NaNo, and something I have rarely been able to do even when I have tried to do so. I am a planner, a plotter, something of a control fetishist, and decidedly terrified of just striking off into the unknown without so much as a compass. But right now, what I mostly am, is tired. I have been worn down by the demands of my life and worn down by my failures to overcome them. I do not fear failure by going into the unknown this time, because I am standing here failing no matter what I do. It cannot be any worse, and perhaps it will be better.
So perhaps, for once, I will simply cast myself into the fire and dance. It cannot possibly be worse than doing nothing.