October’s almost over. Packing for my eventual move and starting up a new volunteer gig with FaerieLand Rescue has filled these late October days. This past weekend, I attended a three-day restorative yoga teacher training. In every other year of my life, Halloween has been a Big Deal. I pull out some items from my extensive Halloween collection to decorate the house, buy a few of pumpkins to carve into jack o’lanterns. This year, it’s only the fake or super easy stuff. Two electrically lit jack o’lanterns, plastic but realistic looking if you don’t touch them, a couple of folk art wooden ghosts at the door. I don’t need to get anything out that I’m going to have to repack. No energy, no time.
That said, I am starting something new tomorrow, November 1. Sit down, if you need to. I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Yes, participating in something. I’ve come to be something of an expert in avoidance and non-participation. Earlier this month, though, I went to a full day writer’s conference and stayed for most of it. This is a change. Usually, I sign up for things, pay the fees and everything and then don’t attend. Most of the time, anything involving groups or assemblages of people brings out the claustrophobia monsters. Especially where writing is concerned. I mean, it’s a solitary activity, right?
NaNoWriMo takes place every November and has done so since 2000. Writers are encouraged to write a 50,000 word novel (or beginning of a novel, if you are, say, Diana Gabaldon) in the 30 days. Writing daily, that’s 1666 words a day. Easily doable. I’ve done it, just not in November.
There’s a website, Twitter page, Facebook page for it. There are many ways writers can interact electronically; I suppose there are in-person support groups as well. I have no intention of that level of participation. My locus of control resides firmly within myself and cheering on by well-meaning helpers just makes me sad. Knowing they are trying to be nice, I realize they probably really really really enjoy receiving encouragement from others. But I just can’t play that way. Mis-wiring at birth, what can I say?
Anyway. Back to me and NaNoWriMo. I have started writing a novel at the beginning of several Novembers. Once I made it to November 10 before abandoning the story (it’s around here somewhere, still). Three or four times, I had ten excellent pages the first couple of days, then zilch. A memorable year left me with an Amazing Title and nothing else. This year, since I have so much else on my mind and plate, I figure that I will use my expert-level work-avoidance techniques to start and finish my novel within the prescribed dates. Writing is a great way to avoid messy things like packing and sorting your accumulated junk. Take it from me.