Saturday, November 19, 2011

So much for that writing career

NaNoWriMo, alternately savior and scourge of my pop-fiction-writing dreams, is more than halfway done, and I have given up utterly. This is not unusual. What IS unusual is that last year I "won," by which is meant writing 50,000 words in 30 days, and while it was disjointed and the characters were flat, it had a coherent plot and some decent pathos and I don't cringe rereading it, which is definitely something. After one serious and countless halfhearted attempts, all failures, I was galvanized. I can do this, I thought. Maybe someday I could even make money off it. Should I get my MFA? Holy crap, this thing is in sight for once! 

This year? We've got a hell of a lot of house rearrangement to handle, due to our joint packrat tendencies, before the Wee Baby Seamus (his latest nickname - Link didn't stick) makes his appearance. Every weekend is taken up with it. Also? New job stress. What the hell am I doing taking a new job six months pregnant? I'm a contract employee, a high-paid glorified temp, and I have to go where the work is, and this is where the work is till I'm due. Shorter commute, too, which is going to start mattering really soon.

Because the exhaustion is starting to set in. I'm already having trouble with stairs. I was warned about that. They told me, dog.

Yeah, old memes are just about where my level of creativity is at with all this going on, so NaNo is by the wayside, and while it's definitely more of a forfeit than an outright failure, it still feels like failure. Writers write, so I am not a writer. I do not write like a motherfucker. This thing I have wanted to do all my life, it's a half-assed pipe dream. "You can do it!" trumpet the NaNo emails that keep appearing in my inbox. "You should really be at 33,000 words right now," they add. Thank you! Thank you for showing me that my utter incompetence can be quantitatively measured! Now I'm going to go count the excess calories I ate today and stand on the scale and think about how specific my failure THERE is! Goddamn it, I hate numbers sometimes.

And then I get another email from NaNo begging for donations and I feel better about not buying into their program this year. Somewhere along the line the founder decided that they needed to be a nonprofit with a year-round staff, despite the fact that they only run two programs a year and all they really seem to do is run the website, get some famous writers to do "pep talks," print out some materials for classrooms and sell T-shirts. Hell, I get more harassing "give us money" emails from them - not just in November, but year-round - than I do from the ACTUAL charities I donate to. Do I need to send them money just to make me feel bad for not meeting a goal? No. I am already on my own case about very nearly everything. I don't need a personal trainer to make me loathe myself. I can do that just fine already.

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