How is it that the last section of October is stressful? Every year, there's the Halloween issue, which I've been considering off and on since spring and still haven't settled. I will be that person running around on October 30, looking for legwarmers, a ladybug costume, and, I don't know, a vintage cocktail dress (for the perfect aerobic ladybug lounge singer costume, obviously). And then there's the question that we all struggle with in as we settle into fall: Should I try to write a novel in November?
In 2005, I finished NaNoWriMo in a blaze of exhausted glory, hitting the 50,000-word mark with minutes to spare. Last year I started out with a great idea--based on the true story of my friend's Canadian grandmother and the Mexican restaurant she bought while her husband was in the hospital--but got busy and distracted with Cinema Hype, and petered out around the middle of the month. It was distressing. I didn't and don't really want to put myself through the process of watching a novel not get written.
I'd proclaimed myself finished with monthlong writing contests for the time being, since I'm still writing CH and I'm certainly not any less busy than I was this time last year, but now I'm starting to feel the pull of the NaNo. The posting guidelines for CH are less stringent than they were, so I don't have to post every day. I thought Tim and I might be filming our movie in November, but it looks like January's more likely. I'm fiddling with various TV spec scripts, but that's an off-and-on kind of thing, and it's the wrong season, and maybe Hollywood will burn to the ground before then anyway; I give it a 50-50 shot. And then I start thinking of how much fun it is to have something grandiose and kind of insane (Heh, I just typed "inane," which might also be not-wrong) to work on, and how much I like meeting up with people in cafes to work, and how Chris Baty's silly e-mails are really, really encouraging, and it just makes me want to sit down and write a novel next month. I even saw something this morning that made me think, "Hey, that's a novel!" This may be a sign.
I think I'll do it. Unless I don't. Unless there are certain things that happen on a certain schedule to prevent me (How's that for vague?). Or unless I start to feel like not finishing would be too, too stressful, not in the way that motivates, but in the way that makes me avoid books, words, novel-talk, the computer, other writers, other people, and the real world altogether. See? This is fraught already.