Friday, December 11, 2015

NaNoWriMo and Other Unnecessary Fictions

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”
- Winston Churchill

I got my third win at NaNoWriMo this year.

If anything, the past month's grueling grind has been a bit of an eye opener for me. I thought I had very little left to learn when it came to this event, but I'm happy to be wrong.

The past two years' entries have been products of tedious planning which left me a mental wreck once December came around. I tried to do the same this year - trying to write a story I've been wanting to write for many years now - and failed to plan despite countless hours of trying to do so.

I must admit that I've been suffering a terrible case of burnout at work for several months now (or for the past year, if we're being honest), and at some point I've made the mistake of letting that dreadful feeling of apathy take over more parts of my life than I should have. For nine hours every weekday, it felt like whatever was the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry. I truly hope that it's just burnout.

Maybe that's why I have not been updating this blog regularly - and I take full responsibility for that - and maybe that's why I was very close to excusing myself from participating on this year's NaNoWriMo.

In the end, I went with something like this. No plans, no limits, no inner editor - I just needed to write as much as I could about anything I wanted. Twenty-three days and over thirty stories later, the beast was slain and things were better. Much better.

I've forgotten that this obscure hobby was an important outlet for me and a way to keep the madness of the world at bay. I've forgotten that I should have been writing for myself first, and others second. I've forgotten what a distinctly human trait it is to translate thoughts into words and record them on paper (or a screen) for posterity. I've forgotten that humans do not have time on their side, and stories have been a way to allow us to transcend the boundaries of mortality.

I haven't written with purpose for a long time, and this year's entry was probably the most rewarding one yet.

Lastly, a shameless plug - my 2014 novel Domino: A Superhero Screenplay is now available on Amazon for the discerning souls who like reading about crazy vigilantes and their equally nutty friends.

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