Oh! November! NaNoWriMo? The answer is ‘No’ for NaNoWriMo where NaNoWriMo means ‘National Novel Writing Month’. (Though the fact that it’s an international phenomenon makes the ‘National’ part a bit suspect and has me me wondering whether it should be WoNoWriMo for ‘World Novel Writing Month’. Note the apposite “Woe!” or “Whoa!” homophone in there.)
I want to write a novel. It’s a creative challenge I’d like to apply myself to. So why not now? Because I also want to do everything else. This, as I keep on finding, is a conundrum that causes a hell of a lot of creative frustration and feelings of inadequacy. When you want to do all the things all the time you find that you inevitably can’t do all the things all the time. You realise that you are not superhuman and that you are, sadly, a flawed mere mortal meatvessel with limited ability to master time and space and, boo hoo, that’s not what you want. Then you have stompy feet and grindy teeth and self-beaty-up shadow-boxing moments as you ‘fail’ over and over in your constant impossible pursuit of some unobtainable perfection or sense of Universal mastery.
You then collapse into multiple existential crises and succumb to fear and loathing, ripping your skin off and howling desperately at the malevolent gods who are laughing at your pitiful humanity. And then we wrap up the pity party and go about pursuing perfection and attempting to conquer the impossible all over again because we just do not learn and those gods and the cosmos are indifferent to our lamentations. At least they are if you’re going to be so overly-melodramatic and wretched about it. Mostly, everyone – gods, animals, other humans and other humans who want to be gods and/or animals – prefers you with your skin on and a smile on your face.
So, yes, enough sorry shadow-boxing because there are better things to do and one of those things is writing (or at least shadow-boxing with a smile). Getting back on track, I’m not going to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because I need and want to focus on other creative stuff (like these and this and this and trying to prepare more stuff for this as best as I can before it happens). I want to do all the things all the time but I accept that it isn’t the right time to be doing this, as much as I’d like to have a crack at it. High five to me for working that out all on my own and acknowledging that I just cannae take it right now, Captain! Maybe I am learning! Whoop whoop!
What I’m going to do though is continue to want to do everything and work hard at doing everything as best as I can in hope that I can transcend my tragic humanity or, at least, be highly productive and juiced up on constant creative mojo. I’m going to channel some of the underlying principles of NaNoWriMo – daily writing, prolific mojo-a-go-go, creating without hesitancy or doubt – as I go through November and into months beyond. I’m embracing an an attitude of Nah-No-Wri’-Mo’ which means ‘Nah! No! Write More!’ which basically means “You should be writing more and more and more and more.” It doesn’t necessarily have to apply to writing – generally, I’m all about creating and having an upbeat, proactive creative mindset.
Rockin’ with that energy means I may have a chance of doing about 1/27th of all the things I want to do and I’ll feel good about it instead of getting downbeat about not achieving anything and being a fallible human who can’t master space and time. It’s a matter of mindset, shifting poor mood (too much of that lately), the sense of slacking and going through the motions and punching out Demon Apathy, Demon Pity and Demon Procrastination (The Unholy Trinity that terrorise us all into insidious inertia). Cut down those killjoys, quit the kvetching and crush creative frustration whenever it rears its irritating and ugly head. Get working. Get writing. Follow that Nah-No-Wri’-Mo’ groove and there will be more writing and momentum and, thus, more creative energy and good feeling and thus more writing and so on, so on, so on…
All I’m doing is harking back and holding on to the same philosophical ideas expounded in manifestos like Less Talk More Rock, Making Things Fast and so many other motivational self-help articles, blogs and suchlikes that are out there. Long story short, moop is unacceptable and writing makes me happy and is so much fun so let’s do lots of that and enjoy it. Positive Mental Attitude, zealous determination to kick out the jams, remembering the fundamental inspirational mantras (Nah-No-Wri’-Mo’ at every pause point) and yeah, having fun.
No NaNoWriMo for me, then, but yes to writing more and more and mo’, mo’, mo’. The start of November is a perfect, auspicious time to think “Yeah! Write on!” so I’m flicking an internal switch, refocusing and rebranding this ‘Yesvember’ as I rumble on into bleak winter. I’m punching the air with plucky determination to defy the gods and my own limits! I’m going full gusto at my hopeless dream of mastering the Universe and doing everything all the time even though these things are unachievable! I’m in manic uptempo Positive Mental Attitude mode and it’s do or die and I’m a doer!
Yay writing! Yay right attitude! It’s Yesvember and the action is go! All is righteous because I’m writing and if I’m not writing I’m doing something to generate extra creative enthusiasm and energy to fuel more writing. Hey! I may even end up writing a novel! Write on… *Beats chest and burns up his keyboard, laughing maniacally all the while as he goes about conquering all the impossibles…*
(As a footnote, high fives to anybody reading this who is taking the NaNoWriMo challenge this month. Write on…)