Friday, November 4, 2011

Why I Don't Do #NaNoWriMo

A lot of writers do this. Or try to. And good for them. But it's not my thing. I've never actually tried it. It isn't that I can't write a book in a month...I can. It usually takes a little longer than that, but it's been done. My first book took about two and a half months to write...and I started it right around the middle of November, 2008. I had no intention of having it done by the end of the month, though. Since then, I've been constantly working on one project or another, and whenever November rolls around, I'm usually in the middle of one thing or another. But there are a few reasons why I can't do NaNoWriMo. I'm not putting down anyone who does, I think it's a neat idea. But here are some reasons why I can't/don't/won't.

1. My birthday is in November. So, there is that. One of my best friend's also has a birthday in November, and it's been kind of a tradition of ours that we have a joint birthday party for both of us at the same time. So that takes some planning. And we usually have it at my house, and my friends are almost all insane.

2. Seasonal Affective Disorder, I has it. And I live in Joplin, Missouri. You know what the weather is like here in November? Last Tuesday it was 71 degrees. Yesterday it was like 45. Today it's supposed to snow or rain or some shit. Next Wednesday it's going to rain but also be in the mid-80s. The following Monday we're getting an F2 tornado. By Thanksgiving the city will either be covered in ice or sweltering under a heat advisory. And that's assuming we don't get locust. Which we will. You know what this does to people whose mood and general health is tied to fluctuating weather? You will. You. Will.

3. I'm too scatterbrained to work on one project at a time. I have to have at least two things going at once, maybe more. Generally, I'm writing one book while editing another, reading a third and playing my way through something on my Xbox...usually another run through Fallout: New Vegas. How many times can I beat this game, you ask? I don't know, how many times can I swear I'm going to side with the Legion this time and use exclusively melee weapons and dynamite for the whole game but then get attacked by pangs of conscience when Ceasar or Mr. House ask me to blow up the Brotherhood of Steel bunker and succumb to the temptation of the 25mm grenade machinegun? A lot, that's how many. But I'm confident that this November, with the rapidly fluctuating weather and my yearly bodily tolerance to the prozac increase will lead to a dark enough mood that I'll side with the evil bastards and hand the entire Mojave over to the gorram slavers in football pads. If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, you should be very proud of yourself.

C'mon! He's begging me to kill him!
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4. Dexter. Homeland. The Walking Dead. And right now I'm reading City of Ruin by Mark Charon Newton. And I've been asked to read a book to do a blurb. So, that's all going to happen.

5. Thanksgiving. Holy shit, people...Thanksgiving is in November. This is why I know for sure that NaNoWriMo was invented by single guys. I could believe a married guy, even a few oblivious dads, would think November, the month in which Thanksgiving, the most clusterfuckish Holiday until Christmas (which is a month later) would be a perfect time to crank out a fracking novel. Or maybe it was designed by people in countries other than the United States, where we routinely subject our moms, wives, daughter and sisters to the puritanical death-gauntlet that is Thanksgiving dinner. The planning, the baking, the cooking, the shouting, the dropping stuff, the making me run to the store for marshmellow cream or ice, the shouting, the burning your hand on the crock pot and having to look for the aloe vera you put away in August because you figured you weren't going to get burned again anytime soon, the shouting, the hunting stories, the shouting...All this takes a couple of days to organize and several more to recover from, during which I doubt much writing gets done. If you're a mom and you manage to write during and after Thanksgiving, I am in AWE of you. Seriously, I'm not kidding. You're the most amazing people in the world. I'm not being sarcastic about that at all. Nonetheless, I doubt it's something many ladies would voluntarily subject themselves to. Likewise, I need to be available during this time, to lift stuff that needs lifting, peel things that need peeling, open things that need opening, kill spiders that need killing, hold who needs holding, pick up bags of ice that need picking up...when such requests are made, I don't think my marriage could survive me hollaring back, "Can't, I'm writing a fight between an M1036 TOW and a minotaur!"

You know when would have been a better month to have NaNoWriMo? March. Because nothing happens in March...except my wedding anniversary. Which, if you're me, is extremely important. In fact, we actually planned out wedding in March specifically because there was rarely anything else going on during that time. So, if you're not me it's a great time to write a book. Unless you live in Joplin...where we're due for a plague of fire toads and some minor flooding. OF BLOOD!

Anyway, now you know what's up with that and why I'm not doing it. Good luck to those of you who do! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go ice my driveway. Better to have it and not need it....

"Angus, what do your cow-eyes see?"
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"Come at me, bro!"
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^^ 'MERICA! ^^