National Novel Writing Month is Over – What’s Next?

arnel-hasanovic-MNd-Rka1o0Q-unsplash
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

There’s a lot to update y’all on. First, let’s start with NaNoWriMo.

We’re almost a week out from NaNoWriMo, and…surprise, surprise, I didn’t get to the 50k word count goal. That’s okay! I had the odds stacked against me. I started a week into the month, and I took a trip during the last week of the month. I’m not necessarily trying to use that as an excuse, but it rationalizes why I wasn’t able to hit the goal. It’s a way of making sure I can avoid beating myself up over it, which, thankfully, I haven’t done too much of. Neat!

Would it have been really cool to hit that 50k word mark? Of course! That is SO many words, and so much dedication to put into a piece of writing, and it’s honestly the kind of work I would like to be doing. However, I think what this NaNoWriMo ultimately taught me is to not be so scared to just start. I put off starting this novel for so long, that it eventually dragged out into months and months later, making me start way later than I could have. I let myself get so trapped in planning the novel, that I didn’t just start it, and let it take on a life of its own. Which, ultimately, ended up being a pretty fascinating process, because so many events that I wrote out ended up progressing differently than I planned, but in a way that was pleasantly surprising. It can definitely pay to have an outline, or some idea of where you want the novel to go, but the writing process is such a great way to experiment with letting the work decide for itself.

So that’s all good and dandy, right? But here’s where it gets…slightly less neat.

I don’t think I have the passion for this novel that I originally had. I am immensely passionate about the characters, and where I want their arcs to go, but the way this particular story is going just isn’t vibing with me. I kind of hate that this happened, because this is now the second novel in a row that I started, only to lose passion for it before I can really get into it. However, after trying to bring it to life, I just didn’t feel the same passion for it as I did when it was in my head. I think that can just be the reality of trying to start any sort of project. I understand that it takes a certain level of commitment to finish a passion project, and I know it won’t always be sparkles and rainbows and unicorns throughout it, but I at least want to stand by the idea 100% throughout the process. After only writing 20k words for this novel (I say “only” because it’s a very small fraction of the book overall), I didn’t feel as strongly about seeing it through to the end.

Was I excited about starting? Yes. Was I excited to actually be writing it? Of course. I love writing. I love telling stories, creating characters, and performing through words on a page. It was enthralling to be creating this, but not because it was something I actually ended up wanting to see as my first possible work to get published. It was just the thrill of creating. Which, of course, I still love! But I want to put that energy into a different piece. I want it to be toward a piece I feel more passionately about.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have stories to tell, and ideas to be shared. This hasn’t stopped the itch to put something out into the world. I have ideas I want to see through. I have stories to pull out of my head. I’m just not sure it’s going to be an urban fantasy novel centered around a group of queer college students. And if it is, it’s not going to be this specific plot. We’ll just see what the future holds.

And who knows? I could return to this novel, at some point. It’s not like it’s going to stop existing. It’s still in my laptop, and if I ever find the passion for it again, it’ll be there. That’s the magic of having a work-in-progress (and more often than not, the bane of it, too).

So the results from NaNoWriMo of 2019 were a little bittersweet, but ultimately, I’m okay with where it ended up. I absolutely love the characters I was creating, but I think I want to put them in a different setting. Maybe instead of an urban fantasy, they’re stuck in a cabin in the woods with a serial killer on the loose. Maybe they’re a bunch of nerds going to a comic book convention. Maybe they’re a group of online friends meeting for the first time. There are just more ideas that I feel I can bring personal experiences and knowledge to that I can’t necessarily bring to a fantasy genre (despite my love of things like Sailor Moon), and I think it’s okay to realize that this is where my strengths reside.

So keep expecting some stuff from me, y’all! Hold me accountable, because there will be a story from me. It will be queer, and it will be something I 100% stand by, and I’m not going to get too far into my life and say that I regretted doing this. This WILL happen.

I also have plenty of opinion pieces regarding queer topics that I want to write, as well as short stories/memoirs/narrative essay type things I would like to work on as well, so the amount of writing you’ll get from me is still going to be immense. I can absolutely promise you that.

If you’d like to keep up on the behind-the-scenes processes behind all of that, don’t forget that my Patreon is full of exclusive looks and content you won’t get anywhere else. Your support via Patreon is absolutely not necessary, but it is always appreciated.

Thank you all for standing by me. I apologize if this seems like I’m flip flopping, but as much as I deserve to feel passionate about what I’m working on, you all deserve something I didn’t just put half of my heart into. It’s all of my heart, or nothing. You deserve passionate storytelling.

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