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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

No, No, NaNo. IWSG November 2017

It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader.  To read posts from other members, click here. This months co-hosts:

Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton,  MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass.

Today's optional IWSG Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project. Have any of them gone on to be published?

November sweeps in here amid the yellow leaves of the black birch trees, the in-and-out light from storm clouds scuttling across the skies. I’ve transitioned from my back-room writing desk where I freeze in the winter to the living room at the front of the house. There, sixty-year-old cast iron heaters keep my hands warm enough to type. My writing table is positioned in front of a window and when not concentrating, I watch squirrels scavenging for acorns and black walnuts while the last of the rusty pine needles float down. We live on a busy street. I’m an early morning writer and now, the sun comes up so late I have to turn on the light while I’m working which makes me feel exposed. The other day, a neighbor I rarely see said, “I see you in your front window when I leave for work. What the heck are you doing there?”  

“I’m writing,” I said and it’s true. But these days, I feel like a fraud.

November. The month during which many with drive, ambition and more creativity than me jump into National Novel Writing month, aka NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short, while, I as usual, do not. Actually, I gave it some thought this year. I’m an inch into a new project. No—a centimeter. For me, that means thinking time. Do I really have a story? I can see the beginning, perhaps the end, but there’s a whole lot of pondering to be done to flesh out the middle. Without a clear idea, I couldn’t possibly get fifty thousand words written in thirty days. I marvel at those with the focus and planning to do so.
And then there’s this. I’m weary. Can I do it again? Can I spend years working on another book that will only remain stored for oblivion on my flash drive?

Confession time. Each November, I feel left behind in the writing world. When I dared myself to try to write a novel seven years ago, I had no idea how hard it would be. Nor did I understand what a struggle it would be to improve oh, just about everything related to my writing while working on my second, third and fourth attempts.

Then there’s the reading. So many talented authors out there. The three novels I’ve read and loved over the last month alone have me wondering if I have it in me to create a story good enough to raise an agent’s eyebrows. 

This month things become grey and drab and my feelings mirror the weather. During November, my most insecure insecurities rise up like leftover Halloween ghosts. I’m getting older. I’m running out of time. What do I leave behind if I never publish a book?

Gloom and doom, baby. I know this is just the pre-winter blues. Nonetheless, I leave Nano to those with stronger hearts.

What's your NaNo experience been like?