Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waiting For Aliens Riding A Tidal Wave... #NaNoWriMo

I'm always a bit antsy this time of year... particularly this very week.
The last remaining days of October.
Not because of my birthday... though being 4 days away from turning 40 does have a certain heightened excitement to it.
Not because of Halloween... if you know me at all, you know I'm only anxious to get it over with.
For the past 4 years, the remaining days  of October are spent brooding over one question...
Will I participate in NaNoWriMo?

What is NaNoWriMo?
It stands for National Novel Writing Month.  An annual November challenge to write an entire novel (a minimum of 50,000 words of fiction) in 30 days.

Let me back up a bit...
It's really 3 years that I've been plagued with this question because the first year, I participated completely by accident...

It was November 2008...election day, to be exact... I was watching Obama's acceptance speech and then it happened... what I affectionately call my alien abduction.
A story...my very first fiction piece... took occupancy of my entire brain.
For a month, I was completely consumed with it.  My every action.  My every thought.
It would wake me up in the middle of the night begging for attention.  Sadly, it got every ounce of it.  Taking the attention from everything and everyone around me.  It imprisoned me until it was complete.
95,000 words complete.
Aside from neglecting my loved ones, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I never gave myself permission to stretch the limits of my creativity or to explore the fiction that has been swirling around in my head since I was a child.
The method was unconventional and I do not recommend it at all, but apparently for my sanity, it had to be done.  I've been creatively free ever since.
The funny thing about this first year experience... I didn't learn about the existence of NaNoWriMo until well into December!  Hence why my participation was by accident.

Now, 2009 was a different story.
I planned to participate.  The only problem was there were no aliens injecting me with a story.  Since the floodgates opened the year before, I had pieces of manuscripts everywhere but none were begging to be finished.
You have to understand something about me and my creativity... I have no control over it.
Without warning, it hits me like a tidal wave and I just grab my surfboard and ride it all the way out.
November 1st came and I didn't even have a toilet ripple... until November 4th.
Not an election year but oddly, the same day (I think).
I had a conversation with a college friend that launched a tsunami that I rode through Thanksgiving to a 65,000 word end.

2010, I went for the "turkey" and... well... the tide never came in and nobody beamed me up.
2011, I was knee-deep in my soul-searching digital sabbatical. Creative writing was the furthest thing from my mind.

And here we are... 2012.
Since my sabbatical, my creative writing has been in a dormant state.
Life priorities have taken center stage and seems to have purposely keept it at bay.
Over the past couple of months, I've had a few sparks of creative energy...this past week has been crazy with ideas... but it is unknown if anything will grab me.  I won't know until it does.

So, I will do what I have done in years past...
Stand on the edge of the beach, surfboard in hand...