It’s the time of year again, ya’ll!
After taking a break the last two years for National Novel Writing Month, I’m coming back in 2017 to get this show back on the road! To continue my momentum forward, my NaNoWriMo project this year will be Parasomnia, the first book in The Morgan Mythos series. I’ve been working on it for the past few months pretty diligently, but I’ve been struggling to get more than a few hundred words down at a time. With White Houses, I began the first words on November 1st, then spent the next 6 months completing the first draft. I’m going into this with Parasomnia sitting at roughly 3,000 words, with the hope that I can hit that 50,000 count by the end of the month. I’ve still never fully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge, but until I do I’m going to keep pushing forward with that goal in mind. Who knows — maybe this will be the year.
Choosing to do NaNoWriMo this year is not something I decided lightly. For the past few months I’ve struggled to really get much down on the page; when TMM would give me trouble, I’d bounce over to a short story I’ve been working on and put down roughly 1,000 words then… nothing. So I’d bounce back to TMM, then back again, then add in another new project, and over time it feels like it’s impossible to finish any one thing when you’re too busy thinking about 17 different options out there. With NaNoWriMo you’re almost forced to focus on one specific piece and there’s a date due for the final word count — it’s the added pressure I need to help me cross the finish, same as with any and all papers due in college. I work better under pressure and with strict guidelines. For someone with such a wild imagination, I sure do need someone to tell me exactly what to do and when sometimes.
This is also the first year that my husband will be joining me in NaNoWriMo. Instead of writing a book, though, he’s been working on the weekly newsletter he sends out to family and friends called “Happy Flyday.” I would tell you more, but until he’s ready to go full-public, I’ll keep it to myself (and the lucky few others that are involved). What’s so exciting about him doing NaNoWriMo with me is that I have a partner to back me up, and even though it’s thoroughly annoying most days, someone to kick me in the ass and guilt me for not getting my word count up. In fact, last night before bed I had to pull the annoyed wife schtick and dramatically sigh and pout for awhile until he finally stopped typing with a sheepish, “sorry, I’m sorry, I’m finished now, I’m–” then back to typing. It plants the seed in my head: why the hell aren’t YOU writing right now, Rachel? In fact, I had a dream last night that Sean was getting published, my lovely writing partner and bestie, Amber, also got published, and I was just sitting there… staring at a blank screen… and desperately carving through my guts to find something to put down, but I couldn’t.
What I’m hoping to get out of NaNoWriMo this year is the drive to keep going, to continue to force myself to get the words down. Every query rejection or job application that I “come in second to” has left me feeling pretty despondent over whether or not I’m good enough. For writing. For a better job. For this website. Over and over again I see people talk about how solitary and personal writing is, and I think that’s another reason why it’s so easy for me to lose confidence in what I’m doing: because I’m alone in it. But with Sean around to turn it into a competition, and Amber to remind me it’s okay that I haven’t been able to put anything down in over a week, I’m reminded that I’m not alone, and with NaNoWriMo I’m introduced to an entire community of people going through the same insecurities as I have been. It’s a wonderful time to be creative in this world, contrary to what you may see in the news or on your social media feed. There are so many of us that just want to be happy and be better at what makes us happy, that we’ve all come together to support one another on this journey. One month. 50,000 words. We can do this.
I’m not going to make any promises on a posting schedule over the next month, but I can guarantee you that there will be a mixtape for The Morgan Mythos coming your way soon, and depending on how well the craft is going, I may even be able to put together some other goodies. If you want to follow along with my NaNoWriMo journey, please follow me @lilmissfair on Twitter, or check out the hashtag #TheMorganMythos for more sneak peaks. Here’s to another year and another chance! Good luck to all of my fellow NaNo’ers; may the force be ever with us, the mockingjay guide us to truth, and as the great headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore once said: let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.