NaNoWriMo 2017 | Why am I still writing?

It’s November again and with it NaNoWriMo, right after Inktober (don’t worry, I’ll update on that, too, well, at some point…), another “creative obligation”, another month full of “I have to do this”. Sounds stressful, right? And it kind of was during the last seven years. I just checked. This is my eighth year of NaNoWriMo. I’ve written more than just one post about this, too.

During the last few years I drowned myself in research and worldbuilding and character creation, wrote furiously during class and at home and made it to 50k. Exactly once. In seven years.

Isn’t this discouraging?, are you going to ask, to write just without any proper motivation but this goal and then not even meet it? To pour so much creativity and energy into this for a whole month that you can’t really do much else?

What’s more, by now I have a regular job and three days of the week I just keel over and fall asleep as soon as I come home. I have historical dancing at least every two weeks, Pathfinder every Wednesday and some kind of social life and other projects, too, surprisingly (no, really). I can’t even go to the meet-ups on weekends because that’s when I work and afterwards I just want to get home and shower and sleep. Writing 1667 words a day seems impossible for me right now. But still I signed up, still I “announced my novel” which means that I filled out some blanks and decided on what I wanted to write this year. Still I checked my “Writing Buddies” just to find that most of them are inactive nowadays. Even writing this makes me look at myself and question if I’m not delusional, why do I do this? My boyfriend sighed when I said “It’s NaNo again” during breakfast on one of the first days of the month because he knows how I invested I was during the last years and how crushed when I didn’t meet my word goals for a day and how disillusioned when I eventually gave up and didn’t write anymore at all for the rest of the month.

This all sounds terribly bleak. It sounds faded and desaturated and bad and exhausting. But let me add a bit more colour. Let me add the sunshine. And the reasons why after all this bleakness I still write.

I love a good challenge.

I love Inktober, MerMay, NaNoWriMo, 30 Question blog post challenges, you name it. I rarely follow through, having about the attention span of a raven or crow (quite intense at times, but still easily distracted), but I love them and jump at them at every opportunity I see. They give me a weird sense of purpose that I sometimes lack (but sometimes not, sometimes I manage to create my own). They give me direction for my scatterbrain. They give me the chance to put out my creativity for others to kind-of-see, within a somewhat socially accepted setting. And I admit that I stressed myself out on this during the last years, which wasn’t exactly the healthiest thing I could do.

But this year I write for myself. Only myself. I’m writing some kind of non-fiction this year for the first time (but maybe it’s fictional non-fiction, who knows) which I’m having a ball with. I write because I want to and I’m proud of every bit of progress I make, proving (mainly to myself) that I can still write and be creative and join these challenges without the drive to win, despite work, despite social things, despite mental troubles. Because I refuse to say, “I don’t have time for this anymore”. I refuse to give in to the concept of the working adult person dragging themself to work and social events and then crashing on the sofa just watching something semi-clever while drifting off to sleep. Not that I don’t do that once in a while, and I love drifting off to sleep while something runs in the background, but this is not what this is about. This is about me denying banality to crush me. This is about me still writing, maybe only five words a day, maybe 2k on another because inspiration hit me and granted me the energy to write on even though I’ve been awake for 16 hours already because of early working hours. Because it’s every single word that counts. Because I need to give Inspiration (capital I) the chance to find me, to find something to come to. I want to create and I need to create or I’d feel horrible. Believe me, I tried. And it sucked.

Sure, call me stubborn. Call me delusional. Call me stupid. Call me to ask, “why are you still doing this even though you know you can’t possibly make it to 50k until the end of the month”. I barely care.

I write because I want my words to come out. Because I can coax them onto the white sheet of my OpenOffice document and get them to stay and evolve into ideas that I might someday be able to share, that might in turn inspire others. I write because I’m a dreamer, because I am a believer in the power of Inspiration and Creativity and the fact that even if you’ve got an eight-hour workday behind you you can still do it. It doesn’t really look like it yet, but eh, somebody’s gotta try it. Everything was impossible until someone came along who didn’t know and just did it. My stubbornness is good. My stubbornness is something that keeps me from plunging into darkness and banality and depression far more than I already do (well, mostly darkness and depression).

Writing is a ray of sunshine, a twinkle of a star, as is every creative endeavour. It is there to inspire you further, to create for yourself, not just for the achievement or others, even though that’s perfectly valid, too.

This is about 1k worth of words now. See, writing just works, somehow. Be it here or on that doc that I’m going back to now because today I have a free day aside from social things I’m looking forward to.

I love you. All of you.

(P.S.: TL; DR: Because I wanna)

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Finished Things Saturday: Pink Lancer Dice Bag

Finished Things Saturday (or FTS for short) is the (usually) bi-weekly counterpart to my UFO Fridays. While there I show you what I’m working on FTS is about small finished projects that I didn’t think worthy of a separate post for some time but now just put in this feature. They deserve it! For more FTSs, look here.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyOne of the things I do when it’s not my turn during Pathfinder sessions is crafting. I usually just work on bigger projects that happen to be up at the moment but that one partictular week I had the urge to do something about the scrap box.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyMy old dice bag had long been inactive: At my old place I just kept my dice in a bowl because I think they are pretty. I also keep my D20 (for all my non-gaming readers: ikosaeder or 20-sided die) in an extra tie-string bag (that I had since childhood and didn’t make myself) for better organisation (Pathfinder works on a D20 basis). This was just too much for my tiny old bag to hold so I decided that I needed a new one.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyThis one has ample space for all my dice, a small pencil, map markers… all the little things that are definitely necessary. It’s made out of the leftovers of Noio’s dress, the lining of my Mother Quilt and some bias tape from a dismanteled place mat – and all fabrics were thrifted in the first place.
I have taken up a jousting lance as a personal symbol lately, and I think I should do more embroidery again – I really like it.

What scrap busters have you sewn lately? Or did you manage to reduce you stash somehow else? Let me know in the comments!

Off to ConQuest

I’m sorry it’s been so quiet during the last two weeks here but I did little more than sleep, work, eat and prep for my favourite week of the year: ConQuest.

When you read this I’m either already on the road to Brokeloh or most probably running in circles, flailing and shouting because I’m not sure what I forgot to pack.

I hope you have a most wonderful week (after which I’ll hopefully throw post after post at you showing off all the things I made lately) because I know I will.

I love you all and I’m looking forward to see you after this adveture.

Hugs and kisses,
Hedge ♥♥♥

 

Beyond the Seals 2017

106_2047I’m back from LARP! This was probably the most exhausting event I’ve ever been to and the one that definitely had the potential to make me stop going to Beyond the Seals altogether as well as stop writing the in-character newspaper. Thanks to the wonderful people around me though I want to keep doing this – making silly news for everyone, giving people the chance to get information, supporting the gameplay. My team was wonderful. By the time the event was over we had transitioned from rainbow press-like BILD der Stadt to the still somewhat silly and satirical but far more informative and independent Stargazer under the patronage of my beloved Western Seal. We also have an English section now for the international players which got us so much lovely feedback that it made all the trouble worthwhile.
106_1940

I didn’t really get into character – staring at a screen 15 hours a day, being annoyed by the printer and coordinating stuff does that to you – and next year I’ll give out the PSA that plot and especially emotional play is to be kept away from me, thankyouverymuch. I can either run a working newspaper for the game or I can play, I can’t possibly do both.
Noio doesn’t have as much of a profile as I imagined when I first wrote her, but that’s okay. She’s the mask I don to not interrupt others’ game when I come out of the office.
106_1951I didn’t take anywhere near enough breaks. I was stressed out of my mind. I forgot to eat. I didn’t sleep enough. And of course I didn’t take all the pictures I wanted to take and didn’t film at all. But surprisingly, after all this, I’m okay. I didn’t expect that, really.
106_2069There was little time in-between issues and character play and avoiding breakdowns (my own as well as those of others) but I actually managed to buy a new non-disruptive byro for my character (sometimes quill and ink are too messy, especially when you take interviews or have to scribble something down for someone else) and one of these pretty pendants that open up so you can put something interesting inside. I’ve wanted on of those for ages!
The die was left in our office when we were done packing and nobody claimed it, and the matchbox was left as a calling card by the O’Gradys whose in-game bank/mafia advertised in our paper.
The coins are but a small part of what we made during the game – those are only the pretty ones I wanted to keep for my collection as well as actual foreign money (for some reason there is always something like that. It’s two British pounds and ten cents from the bank of Uganda this time).

106_1936To say I’d be absolutely looking forward to Beyond the Seals 2018 would be a lie. But I’m not dreading it, either. I’m curious what will happen next year, I learned a lot, and I’m ABSOLUTELY looking forward to ConQuest.

A short Changeling PSA

Remember the Wunderkammer Chronicles I wrote about here?
It’s alive. And kicking. And sprinkling fairy dust. Badass fairy dust.

What I want it to become is a lifestyle community for like-minded individuals, not only roleplayers.
You identify with the whole Changeling concept, feeling like half of you belongs to this world and the other half to another? Come join us.
You like faeries, fairy tales, urban fantasy or dressing like a storybook character (Dolly, Strega, Lolita, Neo-Victorian, Punk, Steampunk, all alternatives are welcome! You’re also welcome if you don’t dress weirdly.)? Come join us.
You love making do, crafting, reviving traditions, witchcraft and a picturesque, mori-ish lifestyle? Come join us.
You’re into pastels, magical girls, over-sugared cupcakes and glitter? Come join us.
You want to play Changeling: The Dreaming in a forum with others who enjoy it? Come f*cking join us.

I want this to be a place for us who are always in another world with at least one foot, I want this to be a place where we can be ourselves and play pretend. I want this to be a balefire that keeps banality at bay.

Come join us. We’re there, and we’re waiting for you.
Bring your friends.

The Wunderkammer Chronicles.

Finished Things Saturday: Canteen, Revamped

Revamped Canteen, made with an army surplus canteen and an old leather sofa

One of the most important things to carry around when LARPing is a bottle of water, especially when you’re at a game where you run around a lot, probably get into fights and get overall exhausted, most probably under the burning sun. I have a canteen for that, and while it was sensible and okay it wasn’t really pretty.

flasche

Bambi has the same (and I couldn’t find pictures of mine before), we both bought it for less than 8,-€ and it doesn’t disturb the big picture too much. However there was room for improvement. I found improvement in the form of leather scavenged from a sofa destined for the dump.

Revamped Canteen, made with an army surplus canteen and an old leather sofa

I took the old wool cover apart, used it as a pattern for the leather pieces and then just sewed the new cover directly on my canteen. The top is still visible but it’s handier this way and it’s not really disruptive, either, so I decided to keep it that way for now. Now, pretty might not be the right word for how it looks now, but it is far more satisfying.

What projects did you work on this week?

Have a wonderful weekend!