You see… the problem was… everyone was talking in Polish

by Radio Somewhere

That’s the punchline to a blisteringly funny joke. And I would share it with you. But I haven’t written it yet. Stay tuned.

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow — and it couldn’t come soon enough for me! This blog is fun to write, but it doesn’t take me to the place I really love to go. There’s a kind of writing I do that is pure escapism — and escapism of the good kind. After a few hours of it, I feel satisfied, fulfilled, and immensely happy; that I have fully indulged myself with whatever I need and am now ready to go out into the world with an open heart and mind.

Last year was my first time at NaNoWriMo. I love the way that first-timers aren’t treated patronizingly, as are Newbies (or Newbs) in other forums. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s your first or tenth attempt; all that matters is that you’re doing it this year.

I had a part-time job that started at 11am, so I did a lot of writing in the morning, getting up at around 6:30. I fed the cat, made a large mug of tea, and then sat down to write in my pajamas. About an hour later, I made coffee and then wrote until 9am when I quit for the morning to shower and dress, eat some breakfast, and get ready for work. I also wrote in the evenings and at weekends, but it was in the morning darkness that I found the most inspiration and joy — and it was such a wonderful way to start the day.

Towards the end of the third week, a coworker jokingly remarked that I seemed awfully happy of late — and demanded to know what drugs I was taking. None, I said. In fact, I wasn’t even drinking — something not unknown with me, but something pretty anomalous. And I realized that I was happier than I’d been in years. I hit the magic 50,000 word total around noon on Thanksgiving Day. I downloaded a couple of awards to post on Twitter and email to a few people. Then I went for a walk to Alki Beach — and gave thanks that I no longer worked in retail and would not be facing Black Friday shoppers the next day. My novel wasn’t quite finished, but I did finish it on November 30.

My new job is interesting and fun, and I work with some really great people. But it presents challenges nonetheless, and I have things to worry about. This last week, I participated in two workshops that were very worthwhile, but also rather draining; my calendar for next week has some collisions that I need to sort out (and possibly apologize for); and I have to start a project that involves coordinating with people for whom I don’t even have contact info yet!

I’m hoping that as I get into my novel, I will be able to draw from the source again — and direct some of that energy into the rest of my life. I don’t see myself getting up at 4am to write. I suppose I could try! I know from last year that I would go off to work feeling inspired to do my best. But perhaps I can benefit from evening writing; allow it to put the worries of the workday behind me, go to bed looking forward to the next day, and get a wonderful night of sleep.

Some people start at midnight, November 1. I thought about it. But I think it would be just a token, false start for me. So, I plan on an early night so as to get up early tomorrow — while it’s still dark.

I’m so lucky to be doing this.