NaNoPrep 2015 Day 20: One door closes...

by Robin de Voh on October 30th, 2015

This one won't be fiction. So I guess I won't be making the 100 words of fiction a day today. But that's okay.

I started this personal challenge of writing daily for 20 days for two reasons. The first was, of course, NaNoWriMo. The second was a less acute but still very important reason. I hadn't really written much over the past years, and while for a while I was okay with that, it eventually started to annoy me. I fell into the trap where I would wait for inspiration, for the mood to be right, for there to be time. I was passively waiting for writing to just sort of happen.

And more importantly, I had forgotten how I got into writing seriously the first time.

Back then, I had the exact same problem, and the way I dealt with it was to force a writing schedule -- I would write at least twice a week, for at least an hour per session -- and stick with it no matter what. I wrote 10 stories in my first 4 months of doing so, and in some way kept it up enough that it never became an annoyance. I would fall in and out of love with writing many times but I always managed to find my way back.

Until 2 years ago. I have two sort-of filled notebooks from that period, where after maybe 20-25 pages I would just stop writing for months on end. The notebooks themselves became harsh reminders of that, and that's why I switched to a new one instead of continuing in one.

That was a mistake. I tried to get away from the reminder, but I should have confronted it. Eventually I did, and my current notebook is filling up nicely.

And then NaNoWriMo came along again, and I started considering whether that would be a good time to confront it.

Recently my life has been rather tumultuous, with major changes in many venues, and it's shaken me up. Not all in a bad way, mind you, but I feel like if there's so much change going on anyway, I might as well steer into the storm and take some risks.

So in a very short time, I've moved house, I've actually gotten a haircut (and for those who know me they know that's rare), I've made some important decisions about my future career-wise (which had been occupying my mind for months before deciding) and now I've made the most important decision so far.

I'm back in love with writing.

And 20 days of writing comes to an end in a beautiful way. I feel vindicated, almost, for doing what I said I couldn't do not too long ago. Screw the fears and insecurities, I'm going to go into NaNo with recent hands-on experience of writing oodles of words every single day (even if I had to make up for 2 stories on other days and this one's a day late).

Would I do it again? Probably. It was hard, sometimes I wouldn't feel like it or couldn't come up with a good idea fast enough, but the end result always made it worth it. Having it read by people may have been an even bigger motivation. Which reminds me.

A massive thank you to those who read some or all of my stuff. I know there's weak ones in there but I never said they were going to be good, did I? I also want to thank the subset of people who actually gave me feedback. You have no idea how important that was to me.

Holy shit, I did it! And at least partly thanks to you!

Next up: 30 days of even worse torture!

Wish me luck! (And let me know if you're interested in following my NaNoWriMo progress as well, because I'm considering doing a low-key version of this for that, but only if people want me to.)

Robin/voh