NaNoWriMo 2015: This did not go well

There is a special kind of delusion that comes with November. This year in particular, it manifested itself as selective amnesia. In planning all kinds of writing I'd do for #NaNoWriMo on planes, in airports, in cars, at odd moments during travel, I somehow forgot that travel is pretty damned wearying.

If I'd been going somewhere peaceful and quiet - a mountain cabin, perhaps, or a camping trip in the middle of nowhere - I might have gotten more written, but only if the emptiness of the locale was matched by an emptiness of schedule. When your time is fully booked from sunup to sundown, every step of the way? When you are flung for a week across 14 time zones and back, turn around, and push yourself by car for a week across a thousand miles and back? Not so much.

Using my mechanical pencil and spiral bound notebook, I wrote a grand total of 6000 words this year. Was this a failure? Call it a mixed result instead. The words themselves are meandering dreck, none of which would survive an editing. However, they were enjoyable to write, and it reminded me of why I like stringing words together.

Moreover, the book I set out to write is not the book I found myself writing. That's a useful insight.

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A #NaNoWriMo Fraud

So far, NaNoWriMo 2015 has been a steaming pile of fail. Word count is barely 2,500. Not 25,000... 2,500. I'm planning on making up some ground in the next few days, and more during some upcoming travel. Lots of hours in the air, in airports and hotels, and even more on the road should give me ample opportunity to get many thousands in the bank. All the way up to 50K? Doubtful, but I'll keep moving.

But tomorrow, I face a moment of truth. Tomorrow, I'm going to visit an English class at a local middle school to talk about NaNo. The students are doing it in teams, and the teacher asked me to come share my NaNo "life story". How I got started, how (and why) I keep going, what NaNo means to me, how it's changed my writing, etc.

Never has Imposter Syndrome been so sharp-edged as it is right now. Who am I to talk to anyone about NaNoWriMo, let alone impressionable kids? I'm just a half-dead writerfish, flopping on the rocky beach of Real Life Lake, thrown there by an unexpected storm that has lasted for days and days.

With a 2015 word count that would be marginally sucky for Day 2, let alone Day 10, it's going to take some brass and brutal honesty to face these kids. I'm gonna say something like this:

Yes, I love the challenge of NaNo, even when I'm not always able to make it happen. It's why I keep coming back.

Yes, I wish I could effortlessly knock out 50,000 wonderful words without any angst or gnashing of teeth. So does every other writer. 

No, this year's is not going well for me. But this year isn't over yet. And even if I crash and burn this month? There's always December.

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