Now that NaNoWriMo 2018 is over I can pretty much relax in the month of December. Some things I put on hold I can now dive back into again, first of which is a lot of reading. I bought all kinds of books in October, checked out a few at the library in November and I have a huge stack of backlogged comics and graphic novels to get back to. I’m also in the works of building several music playlists on Spotify to share with the world as I get back to being the little kid DJ I wanted to be at age 8 (before I discovered MTV and wanted to be a musician myself). I think the gift of music is one of the greatest things in the world and sharing music gives me a ton of joy. Speaking of music, I did find myself adopting an acoustic state of mind and grabbing my acoustic guitars for a few spells during November. I’m tempted to resume songwriting for yet another solo acoustic project, but I dunno, we’ll see. I should also start uploading music from the vault to the new online music platform I’ve discovered. Deal with my musical past before moving on to my musical future. Lots to do as always. And I’ll get back into a writing groove in January, which is pretty much a New Year’s tradition for me.
So . . . NaNoWriMo 2018 — how did I do and what did I learn? Well, I did about 25k words, a little over half the goal (the stats below pretty much say I half-assed it, haha). Short of the overall mark, sure, but not a failure because in prior years I didn’t even manage 7000 words, so this was quite the achievement, I think. As for what I learned from the experience? I learned to just . . . let go. Finally. Turn off, hell, FIRE that inner editor and just do a word vomit onto the blank page continuously with no looking back. Basically pants it, which I haven’t done in a very long, long time. Probably not since year 5 or so of my years of writing and I’ve been writing prose since 1993, more seriously since 1999 probably, when I got more serious about the craft, which ironically probably killed that free-spirited writer in me and I became more self-conscious and overly self-aware. I was starting to write to impress rather than write just because I was compelled to. Writers’ workshops and a few stints as a story editor made me even more hyper-aware of story and writing craft, but also greatly diminished my productivity due to my developing an obsessive-compulsive approach to my craft. NaNoWriMo’s ultimate purpose, aside from inspiring novelists to produce novels, is to ultimately inspire writers to LET GO AND BE FREE IN THEIR WRITING. Prior to this year, that was a nigh-impossible thing for me to do. And even though this year’s NaNo was a giant step in the right direction, I’m still a recovering self-editing freak. My therapy continues. I’m looking forward to NaNoWriMo 2019. Maybe I’ll really take a risk and start a completely all-new, spontaneous, unplanned novel project for that one. Ha!