Sunday, October 23, 2016

NaNoWriMo: Here we go again!!!

Last year (or was it two years ago? I've already forgotten) I once again failed spectacularly to create a novel in one month. But -- and I say this knowing full well I say it every time -- this year will be different.

Actually, though, I have good reason to believe it really will. First, there's the issue of time. As in, this year, I actually have it. Being unemployed sucks, but if there's an upside for an aspiring novelist, time has to be the number one positive.

Secondly, I'm walking into this more prepared than I've ever been. I have stacks of notes. Pieces of unfinished works that'll be incorporated into this piece. An actual outline (that I'm still working on, but anticipate finishing before the 1st). And, for the first time ever, I even have a decent sense of what's going to happen in the middle of my story! (This last is of particular importance because I tend to love beginnings and endings, but middles always scare and confuse me. That's why I usually write short stories.)

Third, I have something to prove. And this year, I'm not just proving it to myself, but to my kids as well. I'm pleased to announce, my two 11-year-olds will be joining me in this year's NaNo, under the Young Writers Program! We'll be holding one another accountable, and if they're going to hit their 20k (that's the realistic goal we set together for them), I'm not going to let them down. I've promised them 50k, and that's what they're going to get.

And fourth, speaking of my kids, I have a deeper reason for writing this year. For the first time ever, I've decided to write something in the YA category because I want my children to have something to read that they'll enjoy, that fits their advanced reading level, and that I'd be happy to know they're reading. So this is for them. It's not about finishing my first novel. It's about creating a book that's good enough for their discerning tastes.

Now, last year, I promised and failed to deliver a NaNo live blog. I'm going to promise it this year, too... but this time, like the book, I'm going to deliver. Each night, as I update my wordcount for the day, I'll have something for you, here. Maybe a story excerpt. Maybe a tip I've stumbled across along the way. Maybe even a little something from my kids. Just hit the #NaNoWriMo label and subscribe to the blog.

Are YOU NaNo-ing this year? Tell me how YOU'RE going to accomplish your 50k in the comments!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Bad Day

Today is... not a good day. It should be. I've finalized some contracts for freelance work. I've been on the phone with a new client talking about not only this current project but future work. I have paying clients. As a freelancer, I really ought to be very happy.

But I'm not. I have work to do today and haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I will. I'll force myself eventually. But for now, I keep watching television and telling myself I have things I need to be doing. The positive is: I've managed to finally admit to myself something I've been denying. It was easy to deny -- at first because of the sheer shock of being let go -- and later simply because keeping busy allowed me to keep it at bay. But the truth is, I'm depressed. And I'm angry. And the deeper, harder truth is, I have been this entire time. And the brave mask I've been putting on to lie to myself hasn't been any lighter for all that I've failed to notice it.

Truth is, I'm tired. I'm depressed and angry, and I'm tired of telling myself I'm not. It's shown up here and there. Little hints. Looking through the want ads and seeing jobs I've had and am perfectly capable of performing... and not being able to hit the "apply" button because part of me simply can't go back there. I don't want to work in retail again, or direct sales, or on a factory floor. I could. They're all good jobs, with great people working them. Probably even good companies to work for. But I can't. Because, the thing is, I want my job back.

That's what it comes down to. That's the depression and the anger I can't quite seem to shake: I want my old life back. The fact is, I've had dreams in which my boss came to see me, told me it was all a mistake, and that they needed me again, and I woke up happy at first, and then miserable, because I knew it could never happen that way.

But if it did.

The sad truth is, in spite of the anger, in spite of the confusion and hurt that came with my firing, if they called me and asked me back, I'd return in a second. I've said before I loved my job, and I did. I loved the people I worked with. I loved my listeners. I loved waking people up in the morning and being part of their day and knowing I was adding something to their lives. I loved it, and I miss it. 

And it still hurts. And it still makes me angry. And depressed. And now that I understand it, I hope like hell it goes away again soon.