Nanowrimo 2015: Three Years of Writing About Writing

It was actually yesterday that I hit my 3-year anniversary with this blog, and I fully intended to write something to commemorate it. Instead I went to see Spectre with my family and, I have to say, I really wish we would stop endorsing James Bond as a cultural product. When people talk about the Mary Sue, they’re talking about James Bond (and not, ironically, the actual character Mary Sue who was the trope-namer): he’s always right, he’s got people tripping over themselves to please him while being the biggest asshole the world has ever seen, and even if he does make legitimate mistakes the story will always give him an easy way to “redeem” himself. Never mind the Bond Girls. When are people going to get sick of this shit?

But in any case, it’s been three years of doing whatever it is that I do on this blog, and Nanowrimo 2015 has taught me a few things already. One: huge realisations that you have in the middle of writing really seriously are not as good as sticking to your plan, so that big twist I surprised myself with the other day is getting probably written out for something far more generic.

Two: huge realisations that you have in the middle of writing are probably good for something – just not necessarily this thing. That big twist was not a good idea, but what it represented was absolutely vital to the story, because it told me what the story was. I just implemented it awkwardly.

Three: having something to write about really fucking helps when you have a blog that’s about writing. I haven’t updated this blog every single day this month, but it’s certainly more than I was doing – and with more to actually write about – than the past few months. Maybe even the past year. A lot of what ends up going on this site is the odd book review punctuated with dozens of “so I know I should be writing but here’s how guilty I feel about not doing that instead” posts. And I really am sick of doing that. I don’t like updating this blog when there’s nothing to report – and yes, I still think that it’s important to acknowledge the loops you can get trapped in as a writer, because that’s part of the reality of it. But it still feels shitty to write about, like it compounds the existing problems of guilt and being unproductive by turning it into a status report that I feel compelled to apologise and self-help my way out of. I like having an objective to report on, and not only does it give me something to blog about, but it’s a chance for me to find ways to make opportunities to have things to blog about – and write about. Got nothing to write? Find something. Be active in your own search for meaning. So I want to internalise this lesson and take it forward with me for however long it is that I keep this blog around. I know I said at one point that after 500 posts I was going to quit, but that was when I was still writing Tallulah.

Four: I think I’m still writing Tallulah.

I can’t fucking quit it. I’m definitely happy not writing it right now, because it was going nowhere and really getting me down. But doing Nanowrimo has recharged my batteries, and having an entirely different project to focus on is giving me all sorts of answers to sticky questions I had with Tallulah that, until now, I had no satisfactory answers to. So maybe after Nanowrimo. Or after the thing I write after Nanowrimo. But I can’t make myself stick to this resolution of giving up entirely on it and treating it as a dead project; I’m not taking it seriously, and I may as well admit it. I may as well listen to what I’m telling myself. There’s something in there that I absolutely love and want to make work, and while it’s definitely time for a real break, it’s not time to write it off completely.

That or I just lack conviction or whatever look I’m not in the mood for an existential crisis okay get off my back

So – yeah. I always wish these anniversary posts were a bit more profound, but I have nothing profound to say today. I didn’t really have anything profound to say yesterday, either.

I do have some things to write, though, and they’re all going better than they were this time last year. And that’s definitely worth commemorating.

Please accept my third thank-you for sticking with me, whether you’re new to the blog or have been here since the beginning. I do want to find a new tagline, since “writing about writing” isn’t exactly unique. But then again, the tagline isn’t the point. The writing is the point.

Guess I’ll go do that, then.

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