I don’t even know where to start

Well. October has arrived, and we’re inching closer to an election and National Novel Writing Month, and then suddenly Thanksgiving will be gone and Christmas will be here and then suddenly 2020 will be over and it’ll be time to pay taxes and…

October is the start of the fastest time of my life. Let’s just say that. Generally, once October is here, I’m looking forward to NaNo, and then I’m scared because time has sped up and Christmas is almost here and I’m not ready for it, and then Christmas is over and we get past all of our December birthdays and celebrations, and I get to take a break, but then I’ve been so wound up for so long I deflate and take two and a half months to relax, and then, yes, suddenly taxes are due and I’m panicking about them.

But once we get past April 15th (most years *cough*fucking2020*cough*), time resumes it’s normal speed.

For now, though, I’m in October.

It’s different than any other year. I’m (finally) not freaking out or getting depressed about or looking forward to or upset about National Novel Writing Month.

This is M.A.J.O.R.

H U G E .

As in, I haven’t experienced this since 2002, the year before I discovered NaNo. And it only got worse in the years I was working as a co- or solo-Municipal Liaison. It’s been a couple of years since I did that, but those years I were the dark years, not the excited/frantic ones.

I’m grateful that I’m not dragging myself out to events I’m not having fun at. This is not to say that I didn’t like the people at the events. I love many of the people at the events. But I need a break.

It’s going to be interesting to experience a normal October and November. I know 2020 isn’t normal, but a year where I’m not spending every moment in October plotting a novel I’ll never write (I’m a pantser and it’s silly that I keep trying to be otherwise). A year where I don’t spend every second in November kicking myself for not writing. A year where December doesn’t sneak up and kick my ass because I was so busy in October and November, I couldn’t prepare for Christmas. Where my birthday sneaks up. Where the first quarter of the new year slips by unnoticed because I’m so glad the last quarter of the previous one is over.

Well. I’m harping, I suppose. And I make it sound like I have no choice in how time passes or how I spend my time, but I know that I do. I suppose I’m just excited to actually feel in control. To take a little bit of time to really remember what these months feel like without the clutter of external events.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, which probably sounds odd. I’m going to write something. Maybe finish a previously begun novel, maybe write something completely different. But I can do it without guilt, without frustration that’s been plaguing me for the past few years. Without resentment at my inability to accomplish at meetings the very things we are attending to achieve. Socialization with my peers is fabulous, but I used to be able to write.

Well, welcome to October.

It’s not working (Writer’s Group, No Writing!)

My writing group isn’t working for me. It’s not even a writing group like it was when we started. When we started, we got together and were quiet for giant swaths of time as we wrote, stopping to ask a question, get it answered, and move on. Sometimes we talked at length about someone’s story – asking questions, probing, learning – but it seemed to always be about writing.

But the group evolved and changed, as things do, and now it’s a social group. I like everyone who comes. They’re my friends. I like talking to them, learning about them, etc.

But it’s no longer a writing/editing group. It’s a group of writers who may occasionally happen to be able to get some writing in (usually by attending earlier than the rest of the group, thus avoiding the lure of conversation by eliminating other people to talk to).

When I want to write, everyone else wants to chat. When I want to chat, everyone else somehow manages to bury their heads in their projects.

That happened last night. I went and just wanted to write a blog post. My Chromebook battery was low – I hadn’t charged it fully the week before and hadn’t pulled it out of the bag to recharge it this week. My writing goals are meager these days. All that was on my plate was my response and ponderings about the amount of water I’ve been drinking lately.

And I got drawn into a conversation. Maybe I even initiated it after someone made a noise, I don’t remember. I enjoyed the conversation. I learned new things. I’m excited about what I learned.

But I am so fucking frustrated that at a writing group meeting I couldn’t even write a damned blog post. I’m frustrated that the things I want to say are so fucking fleeting that I can’t hold on to them after I get interrupted. I’m frustrated that the time for writing that I need isn’t there anymore because I can’t manage my time.

I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to “fix” this, or if there is a solution that doesn’t involve me ceasing to attend this event filled with friends. That’s a possibility, to be honest. One I’ve considered quite a bit but hesitate to mention out loud because of Reasons.

Well, at any rate, something needs to change. I’m a writer who doesn’t write, which essentially means I’m now just a gamer who doesn’t get paid for Netflixing while playing Skyblock in Minecraft. I write because of the potential to let my words pay for my life, and to free myself from the constraints of being someone else’s employee.

Maybe that reason isn’t good enough anymore.

Thoughts.