Well, I got roped into NaNoWriMo this year. Nevermind I have signed up for it before and failed each time. No matter how pumped I get, mid-month or in the case of last year, mid-week, I get swamped with real life stuff and that project falls to the wayside. Maybe this year will be different, though. For instance, I am writing with three friends who, even though I've only known for about a year, have already been the most encouraging friends I have ever had when it came to my writing and my creativity. This is probably because they're all writers too so they know the struggles.
Even though I'm trying to be optimistic, it is hard to not look behind me and see my collection of unfinished projects. I've always been a writer or at least always someone who had ideas for stories. I have an online friend who once said she envied how often I came up with ideas. That part was so hard for her. Well, when she came up with one she wrote it up and got it published.though. And in the end, that is what matters.
Ever since I was a teenager, I would come up with ideas and begin to write them out to only hit a wall or come up with another idea that I am eager to write down as well. I have mentioned before, my mind is like a hoarder's house. It is cluttered and hard to walk through sometimes and I never find what I'm looking for but I will find something interesting nonetheless. I sometimes find it very hard to remain focused on one thing. It is extremely frustrating to me. But I just happen to be a person who finds a lot of different topics fascinating and interesting. I want to write about them ALL.
Like last year, I spent the entire month of October reading about World War I and the Weimar Republic purely for NaNoWriMo. The idea I came up with I expected to be a simple one which would make it easier for me to finish, or so I told myself. I named the novel Stefans Zeitgeist (hur hur, I am so clever) and it was about a German soldier who nearly died in the Battlefield in France to only wake up with the ability to see ghosts and other things. He kept on seeing his battle buddy around which made things very awkward when he took an interest in the friend's sister. I wanted the story to walk the fine line of "Can he really see ghosts?" or "is it really just PTSD out of control?" WWI was when people began to actively describe PTSD as a mental disorder so there was going to be a scene with that. Then, Stefan was going to go to Paris (because he is actually a talented artist). He sees a ghost and a Frenchman with a missing arm sees it too. They notice each other. The Frenchman says, "You see them too." End of Book.
I had a really good outline going. I wrote three pages. Maybe one day I will go back to it. I really like "vintage" settings. I also really like ghost stories as I said numerous times.
Even though I'm down on myself about finishing stuff, I did finish a rough draft of a novel (I'm in editing hell right now with it. I have to rewrite about three scenes in its entirety). That one, I made sure I wrote every night and it was at least 500 words. Sometimes, I wrote just the 500 words but other days I would write 5000. I finished it in two months and it clocked in at 90,000 words. However, I had another fuel that pushed me through -- grief. My brother had passed away and I put his teenage/young adult self as one of my main characters. I had to write it down because I wanted to preserve the memory. I know that may sound silly but that is what motivated me to do it.
I have done it before. There is no reason why I shouldn't be able to do NaNoWriMo. That is what I keep on trying to tell myself.
This year, I am revisiting an idea I came up with as a teenager. I had forgotten about it until my mom gave me a bunch of my journals I had full of unfinished ideas. And I remembered that one and thought maybe I could tackle it again. I call it Star Orphan even though that is a preliminary title. It is about an alien Hybrid who escapes the mothership and lands on earth to find his earth mother. He goes on a cross-country trip with a truck driver named Theo as the two run from government types and the aliens that want him back for the upcoming invasion. I intend for it to be a little silly but also a little heartbreaking. Making it a road trip, alien invasion, coming of age story.
Anyways, we'll see how this goes.