A Non-Novel Experience

I’m sad, because there’s not a chance in hell for me to accomplish something I wanted to do. Mostly we all know what that is, it being November 30th and all. Yeah. I don’t have a book, and so for the second year running I have failed at National Novel writing month. I don’t have even close to the 25,000 that I scaled back to. I have about an eighth of that. The question I kept being asked during November, and which I find myself asking even now, is why? Why do I want to write a book in the first place?

Well, I didn’t, dummy. That’s the whole point of putting it on a blog, is that it’s not a book. It’s just a steady output. It’s a constant stream of writing, that, while perhaps over-effluent at times and perhaps a tad indulgently repetitive, et cetera, et cetera, it’s writing. And I remember enjoying writing.

I remember that when I was in eighth grade I joined “Writer’s Circle.” It was a bunch of geeks who got together every Friday… in a circle… and read stuff they had written. It’s how I met one of my best friends, Lauren. It’s when I wrote my first full-length story, and where I got some of these weird ideas in my head that still stick around there even though they’ve never been justified—like that one shouldn’t repeat nouns, adjectives, or non-common verbs within a 1-page radius, and that the sentence structure should alternate. Like this. Short, long, short, long, personal, non-personal, object-based, perceptive, non-personal, personal, et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera. And it’s where the very beginnings of what I now generally think of as “flair” started: little stylistic, randomly emergent oddities that occur as the writing turns in on itself. Like this one. It brought about my writer’s philosophy, so to speak.

This experiment was just something to try to walk further down that path. Like the fair-weather flagellant that I am, most likely I’ll come back next year with high hopes. I’ll do the same thing. I’ll make compromises and I might not meet them. Probably won’t. And I’ll make the same apologies to myself. I might start in October just to cheat, like some I know who actually made it… I’m looking at you, Miss 60,000. I’ll do it all over. I’m not that sad about it, anymore. Better to have dreams and not attain them then to not have dreams at all.

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