For the past three years, I have participated in what is known as NaNoWriMo. I even took a hiatus from blogging last year when I did it last year. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. If you’re dedicated, it’s only 1,667 words a day that only takes about an hour to hour-and-a-half of writing a day. It’s not difficult and very manageable– even with a full-time job and a social life.

The first year, I wrote a novel that will NEVER see the light of day. Only The Roommate has read a passage from it (I wrote a sex scene in my book and had her read it while sitting in the middle of a crowded coffee shop). It was a story that had so much of my life/me in it, it was kind of embarrassing. The amount of projection that happened was appalling! I clearly needed to process through some things, and my story was where it happened.

And it was the worst, most cheesy story EVER! However, it did involve a Spanish chef, so that was fun to write about 😉

After a trip to Spain last year, I wrote a story about a matador for last year’s NaNo. I obviously have some sort of affinity for Spain…

I was so excited about that story! I had the ending in my head before I even had the full story outlined. I knew what I wanted the characters to be like and I knew where the story was going to end up. It was also themed after one of my favorite pictures, which I have framed in my bedroom:

“Billy Boys” by Jack Vettriano

My main character, Enrique Romero, was based off the guy second from the left. See how cool and suave he looks? So sexy!

I loved my story. I loved the characters. I really enjoyed trying to get the story to where I wanted it to end up, and was marveled at how brilliantly it worked!

I sent a copy of it to my parents, my sister, The Roommate, my friend who also did Nano and was eager to hear what they thought. I knew it wasn’t publication-worthy, but the ideas and themes and character development was what I was going for. Plus, I used places that I had actually been, so I could picture my characters there. I loved the entire experience of writing last year. I was proud of my story and I wanted to share it with everyone!

But then came this year…

I tried to write. I even got ideas from friends and family to help make the story fun. But my heart just wasn’t in it. I wrote just over 10,000 words and could not muster the energy to write any more. My characters were fun and entertaining– a cross-dressing boss, a hypochondriac secretary… but the story just could not come together.

I also realized I didn’t care. I didn’t care about my story, I didn’t care about “winning” (which is reaching 50,000 by Nov. 30), and I really didn’t care about my characters. I liked the ideas of where some of their stories were headed– a man following one of my characters home after a cruise and constantly asks her to marry him, a machete fight in the Amazon Rainforest, and money laundering through a travel agency– but I just couldn’t muster the creative juices to get my characters there. I wrote a fifth of my story and they hadn’t even begun doing any of those things…

So after a conversation with my sister, who helped me feel good about giving up on “winning,” I finally said, “enough!”

I know I set out to get novel #3 written, but I just couldn’t do it. But I feel good about it. I wasn’t enjoying myself and I didn’t like my story. And as my sister pointed out, I’ve written TWO novels! Not many people in the world can say that. So when I look at it that way, I really have succeeded.

I’ve convinced Company Ink to try it next year, so maybe he and I can be writing buddies and I’ll have more motivation when next year comes around.

But for now, I’m content with not fulfilling a goal I had for myself. But at least I tried. Maybe “Holland America Line” will be more developed when next year comes around and I can take another stab at it… or find a new story somewhere in my brain to write about next year.

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