A Truant Disposition

"I must be idle."

Bracing For Impact

Written By: Ainy Rainwater - Oct• 27•15

I’ve made mention a number of places online that I don’t know if I can do NaNoWriMo this year, and will probably not make a final decision until after Nov 1st. This has been generally misunderstood. I’m a NaNo veteran. I’ve won it in 3 weeks every time. The word count is no problem. When I say “I don’t know if I can do it this year” I’m not expressing a lack of confidence, or doubt in my ability to write a 50K word draft in 30 days. I have absolutely no doubt about that whatsoever…under normal circumstances. This November, however, is shaping up to be –potentially —an unusually difficult time.

I don’t usually write about personal or family things here, but *stuff* does impact the time, as well as physical and mental energy, that go into writing books. Readers who embrace a book as a good escape when life is chaotic and stressful don’t usually stop and think that the kinds of things that are happening in their lives (or the lives of their friends) are the same sort of things that impact an author’s life, also. But upheaval and stress don’t just impact the author’s life in the usual way such things do; it also impacts their ability to write books. Writing takes a lot of energy, time, and focus. You’ve probably noticed that all three of those things tend to go away when some very bad shit hits the fan.

An elderly family member is about to undergo a biopsy to determine if her cancer has come back. This is in addition to another, completely separate, ongoing medical problem which may require her to have surgery. We won’t have her biopsy results until the first week of November. Also, an old friend of mine is in hospice and doesn’t have much time left. This is the second friend I’ve known most of my life who has gone into hospice within the past few months. The other one is already gone. It’s breaking my heart. I have hardly processed grief from the first loss.

For those reasons I haven’t decided whether to do NaNoWriMo this year. Sometimes I feel like I can do it, even with all the stresses, pressures, and uncertainty, but sometimes I feel like there’s no way I’ll be able to handle everything that could potentially hit in November and still do a 50K word draft. I honestly don’t know if I can draft a novel this November. The amount of stress right now is manageable. But, as you see from the preceding paragraph, it could potentially go through the roof in the month of November.

I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo prep and planning the novel because I’m not yet stressed out of my mind. And brainstorming the book, doing research, and working on organizing my ideas, is a great distraction (so far). I’m postponing making a definite decision and if I do NaNoWriMo I will likely wait until sometime in November to set up the novel on the NaNoWriMo site and update word count. I’m planning to begin writing the novel on November 1st, but I’m not sure how much I can get done before things go “boom”.

The smart thing to do would probably be to sit out NaNo this year and continue rewrites and work on the other series. This shouldn’t be a hard decision to make. But this book is one that I feel like I need to write soon, while the idea is still fresh in my mind, and the impetus for the book is there. If I don’t write this book this fall, I probably won’t write it at all since I’ve got other books I’m working on.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the decades that I’ve been writing books it’s that there’s never a good time to write a book. If you wait for that perfect time in your life to sit down and write a novel, it’ll never happen. I wrote my first book left-handed — in longhand! — because my right hand was too badly injured to write. I had to have surgery on it and then go through rehab. I started that book in pain, with a left-handed scrawl. I remember that because it was the first book, but I’ve lost track of all the “not a good time to write a book” things that have happened over the years while I was writing books. So, I’m just going to keep going until I can’t keep going.

I appreciate the support of my fans and friends. You all are the best! And remember, whether or not I draft a new book in November, I’ve still got a new book coming out in March! 🙂 Follow my Mighty Microblog for short eclectic posts and updates during NaNo, if I do it this year.

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