Originally posted on my writing blog which was active from 2010 to 2018.
I woke this morning to an almost literally freezing cold house, which means that we can no longer pretend that the cold months of the year won’t happen. By “we” I mean “me,” because there are some people who actually like the transition from summer to fall. I personally spend most days between November and March in three or four layers of clothes, moving slowly, barely staving off uncontrollable shivering fits, unable to concentrate, hiding in the darkness that consumes most of each day.
You may have noticed I haven’t posted much this year, which is because this has largely been a complete disaster of a year. It started with a cataract in one eye, then some doctor visits to get high blood pressure under control so I didn’t have a stroke, then hurting my hands just from playing a game, to the point that I could barely even type for two months. In between all of that, I utterly failed to make any progress on my Survey project. I got to the point where I would get panic attacks even thinking about continuing to work on it, so convinced was I that it was the worst, unsalvageable dreck I had ever written. I had such incredibly high hopes for it and it’s just … not good.
But a funny thing happened. Not long ago, a whole bunch of Monty Python stuff dropped on Netflix, including the final live show they did at the O2 in 2014. It was amazing. I mean, they only did about five sketches, and they clearly weren’t in their prime, but I found it incredibly inspiring to see these guys up there at age 70 doing something entirely new, and approaching it with a level of professionalism and skill that I wish I had even a tiny percentage of. I found myself watching a lot of documentaries on and interviews with the Python folks, hanging on every word, trying to absorb every bit of wisdom I could glean, hoping just a tiny little bit of it would rub off on me.
So last week I was inspired to finally write some new material for the Survey project, which is what it desperately needs. It has a beginning and “kind of” an end, but there is no middle and I have no idea what to put in there. But I just started writing and I’m going to keep trying to write stuff every day until November.
Because the abominable temperature change means another year of NaNoWriMo is almost here, and of course I’m planning to give it another try. (I have done it every year since 2009, but I skipped 2015, which I regretted.) I recently reflected that this will be my ninth attempt to write a novel to start my writing career, and the previous eight attempts have been miserable failures, resulting in either unsalvageable, incomplete drafts, or manuscripts that aren’t even close to the level of quality that I would want to release, and require so much editing that I might as well just start over. Actually, I think I tried to write some stuff during the summer events, too, so maybe more than eight failures.
As such I approach NaNoWriMo with a lot less enthusiasm than I once did. But I really enjoy the process, and for some indefinable reason I fall into the daily writing lifestyle with relative ease. If only there was something to help with the other 11 months of the year.