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)