I tried to force myself to write the first week of Nano this year and for the second year running life and overwhelming anxiety about it got in my way. It is hard enough to look for a job and try to get you general life straight. I add Nano to the mix and suddenly my brain clears of the ability to form basic words for anything. My text messages become simplified and my blog posts usually become non-existent.
I enjoy writing, that’s why I write. However, when put in a position of writing for an event like Nano, my OCD goes into overdrive. I don’t like to use my disorders as excuses, but this month I am.
Reasons my OCD can’t handle Nano:
1. I hate writing for word count. It can be difficult enough to sit down and write every day without forcing an arbitrary word count goal for a 30 day period. I don’t mind a daily word count goal, my personal daily goal is 1,500 words. This is lower than Nano, and it doesn’t matter what I write.
2. I hate writing without editing. Now I know that not all my posts are edited, in fact I have a whole section for non-edited short fiction. However, intentional 30 minute stories are different than a novel. I don’t mind writing for hours at a time to meet a personal goal. I can edit as I go if I just have to meet a personal goal. One point of Nano, or so I’ve been told, is to not edit as you go. This drives me bonkers! I constantly look back and try to fix unless I set a time limit. I suppose I could set a time limit for my Nano writing, but why force yourself to write a story you constantly want to go back and fix, but you can’t just so you can meet a word count goal? I would rather write for story content not for word count. Grrr.
3. I think after 4 years of Nano attempts, I need a break from my own bad fiction. Now I am not saying I will never want to write fiction again, but I just don’t have any ideas for fiction right now. The more I try to force ideas, the more I hate my characters. They are boring, without friends, who sit around thinking about living life but don’t. Maybe this is a representation about how I feel about my own life at the moment, and that’s fine. I am bored, I do spend a lot of time alone, and I am the person who is keeping myself from the life I want. Good self realization does not help write good fiction.
So, I am going to have to change my November focus. This Nano I will write as much as I feel like writing. I will focus on whatever I want to write when I open my computer. And finally, I WILL edit if I feel like it.
Now that I have decided that I am an official Nano rebel, I guess it’s time to change my novel info on Nanowrimo.org. I hopefully my brain will follow suit and allow me to write again. If I am stuck working jobs which make me hate myself, I refuse to write things which make me hating writing.
Embrace the crazy, work with it to create what you want to create. Don’t force the things that just won’t work, but don’t give up on yourself or your own life. This is my take away this week.