Insecure Writer’s Support Group: NaNoWriMo Woes

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day…

I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day and Day One of NaNoWriMo happen to fall on the same day this year. And to further torment me, here’s the IWSG “optional” question for November 1:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Ugh! I’ve said it a million times—I can never finish any project I start, so what do you think my answer to this question is?

N-O

A big, fat z-e-r-0000000000000000000000000000000000000000

The sad thing is, I thought I was ready this time. I spent an entire month planning my novel. I wrote an outline (which I’ve since lost because of my incessant need to write everything on scrap pieces of paper), I’ve sketched characters, explored backstories, brainstormed on themes, even went to jail for an hour . . .

Ok, so research for my novel wasn’t the original reason for my visit, but while I was there I took advantage of the opportunity (especially since my prison ministry contact never came through for me).

I think what derailed my plans was Camp NaNoWriMo this past July. My goal for camp was to finish my novella, Love Poetry (ironically my first attempt to write Love Poetry came in November, 2014, for NaNoWriMo). Nothing too arduous, 30,000 words in 31 days, manageable. My hope was that finally finishing Love Poetry would give me the boast of confidence I needed going into November.

I didn’t finish. July got too busy. I had too much on my plate. I fell behind.

I’m still not finished.

And the perfectionist writer in me doesn’t want to start a new project when I haven’t finished the first. Especially since the new year is right around the corner and I really want to enter 2018 burden free.

Maybe I’ll just wait until next NaNoWriMo, or next Camp.

But then, I recently joined Simply Marquessa’s #TribeTuesdayWPChallenge: 12 new life habits to enhance your life in 12 months. And I kinda made November all about beating procrastination.

And here I am . . . again . . . about to procrastinate . . . on yet another novel.

Well, enough is enough. At this rate, my first novel will be published posthumously, and the publisher would still need to find a ghost writer who is familiar with my writing style to finish it!

So I am making a conscious effort, scary as it may be, to continue on with my original plan to write Lost Boy (renamed Wanderer—still a work-in-progress, you know I’m no good with titles) this November for NaNoWriMo. I won’t officially register for the challenge, though. I don’t want that added pressure to meet my daily word count, especially on those less than productive days that are sure to come.

Going into NaNoWriMo, I want to take a relaxed approach, which is hard for me because I overthink everything. But in her “How to Tackle NaNoWriMo” series, Candice Coates said something that really resonated with me: There’s no such thing as writer’s block. We always have something to say, we just have to allow ourselves to say it.

Well said, Candice. I’ve been silencing myself for far too long, using the excuse of writer’s block, or busyness, when truly, I’ve just been scared. Of failure? Of success? I’m not sure, but if I ever want to get that book published one day, I have to write it.

I have to write it.

So I will write it.

Right now.

—Nortina