We’re six days into National Novel Writing Month, and even though I am a little bit behind my word count goal at the moment, November has me feeling very literary!
I’m a shy person; it’s difficult for me to pinpoint where my simple social awkwardness ends and my neurotic social anxiety begins. I know there is a difference, but there was a time in which just coming across as awkward made me not want to leave the house – an isolation similar to what I experience when my anxiety is particularly crippling. I missed out on a ton of opportunities because of this.
NaNoWriMo has me listed as being a member for 8 years, but I know that I started closer to ten years ago. Which is amazing, but also daunting! I’m disturbed by how quickly time flies.
If you are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it is an annual writing competition with a goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. There’s no cash or other prizes – the reward is completing your goal. While 50,000 words is much shorter than the length of a conventional novel, this is a more of a “it’s the thought that counts” kind of thing. This isn’t meant to discredit NaNo at all! The point of it is to show writers and aspiring writers (who, like everyone else, tend to have busy lives) that they do in fact have the time to write a novel. It’s an intense practice in discipline, and the sense of community formed by the NaNo forums and IRL meetups makes that discipline feel fun.
I have officially taken an indefinite hiatus from Geek Volcano – at least when it comes to weekly reviews. I’m still regularly watching (and absolutely loving) Kyuranger, but I am at a point where I need to focus my limited energy and time on the pursuit of paid projects. I still plan on writing a Geek Volcano review for the latest season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, which debuts this weekend!
But in the meantime, I’ve started a new writing focus plan. This plan is three-fold:
This is a genre that I am lacking serious experience in – which is partially due to having a lack of interest in it for quite a while. I have written some letters of interest and rough grant proposals in the past, but only now am I recognizing grant writing as a skill that I need to hone as both a communication expert and a non-profit professional. My job is paying for me to take a month-long advanced proposal writing workshop and I’m stoked! The first workshop was today and I learned a lot…including that my attention span does not like 6-hour long workshops. But still. Learning is good, and learning how to raise money for my non-profit (and maybe one day for my own art) is also good.
Freelance article proposals
While I’m on break from Geek Volcano, I plan on working on at least five article proposals. Submitting ideas for articles to magazines and websites seems like a more daunting task than writing the article itself. But I know at least one website is interested in hearing my proposals for paid pieces, so I need to get cracking.
Yep, I’m taking the dive again this year and doing NaNoWriMo! I have the added incentive of being part of a Come Write In location. The library where I work will be hosting three write-ins and as the only employee whose participated, I am now the resident NaNo Expert! I’ve got a silly plot bunny to work with, and my next blog post will cover the outlining process and NaNo Prep Essentials.
I haven’t made a post in a while, something that I am well aware of. I have started drafts of things, ranging from my experiences as a new AmeriCorps member to a comprehensive review of the psychological nightmare that is Neo Yokio. I also haven’t written a Kyuranger review for Geek Volcano in five weeks, even though Kyuranger has been truly worth discussing. My challenge is beyond a lack of focus or motivation – its depression.
I’ve dealt with some depressive episodes this year, which isn’t surprising to me. Money problems and job instability are possibly my biggest triggers. I’ve had more than my fair share of money issues this past year, but I thought things were stabilizing…until my car’s engine failed on the second day of my new job. In the past three weeks I’ve learned that my car warranty expired only 90 days before the failure, that my car manufacturer’s service is awful, and that the repair will cost more than two months’ wages.
Throughout all of my other issues I’ve at least had my car. I had lined up side work to help supplement my modest stipend, but they are not located on a bus line so I had to give them up. I’m of course actively looking for freelance writing work (which is remote) but it takes time not only to hear back, but also to ultimately write and get paid.
Anyways. I feel guilty for whining. And that guilt always makes my depression spiral even more, because it gives into the cycle of self-loathing and finding everything pointless. So yesterday I started the process of taking back control of my thoughts and my actions. I am in a metaphorical fist fight with my depression, and this is what I’m doing to fight it:
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I very much fit the “basic bitch” stereotype with my love of crunching dry fallen leaves, pumpkin spice anything, and reading novels in a coffee shop on a cold wet day. I feel no shame about this, because I know that autumn is typically my happiest and most productive time of the year.
This weekend I took the time to watch one of the earliest mecha shows by the prolific Yoshiyuki Tomino, of Mobile Suit Gundam fame. At 26 episodes, Zambot 3 is one of the shortest Tomino shows and an easy binge watch. It is also an early attempt at deconstructing the mecha genre, dealing with what at the time at least was one of the most commonly ignored elephants in the genre: the aftermath of the damage caused by fights.