Nanowrimo 2019 – It’s a Mood

Nanowrimo starts this week and I’m preparing for it by lying on my couch with an entire blanket coiled around my neck. (My throat hurts and I’ve convinced myself that the blanket is a healing agent.) I have a mug of salted caramel tea steaming on top of my Star Trek: The Next Generation coaster, a handful of cough drops, and yesterday I checked Dreyer’s English out of the library. I’ve already read the first chapter. As far as I’m concerned, I have my tool kit! I’m ready to write.

For reasons I’m not entirely sure about, I chose not to prepare an outline or chapter guides… and I barely remember the names of the characters I was hoping to cover in the next sections of the story, but I have hope. I hope that when I sit down in front of my laptop the words will pour out of the large black void I call my imagination and ooze onto the lines of my Google Doc’s page. I hope that whatever talent I was able to muster during my two and a half year-long master’s program will snap back into place.

I haven’t won Nanowrimo since 2015. I haven’t been consistent about writing since I finished my MFA and I need a good kick in the butt. The judgmental gaze of my family hasn’t done the trick. Maybe the 50,000-word count goal is the answer. Maybe Nanowrimo will reignite my focus.

MFA, Writing Goals

Camp Nano Fail

I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo this year. I sign up for Camp Nanowrimo every year and I do so with high hopes. I do so while bragging about being a pantser. I sign up for a cool cabin filled with inspired YA writers. I watch virtual write-ins and binge on those motivational videos the real writers post in your Nanowrimo inbox. I even got my coworker to make me a customized book cover last year.

Now to be clear, I have won Nanowrimo. Three years in a row, I busted my butt to write those fifty thousand words. But there’s something about Camp. I have never won camp. Not once. Not in May. Not in July.

This time, I didn’t even manage to write one word. Not one single word.

And I think I’m justified in blaming my MFA program. There’s loads of reading in my program. Loads. And I’m not making excuses, but with all the reading and all the writing…. and the erasing, and the combined writing and erasing… and then pondering, and then crying, and erasing some more, I just don’t have the time to write with joy.

The sad thing is, I love all things Nanowrimo. This is not a guiltless fail. My heart is sort of broken. I love it when the nano team sends me that certificate that says I’m a winner. I so long to be a winner!