October is so many things for me.
It’s truly a freaking roller coaster. Most of the bad things that ever happened to me happened in October. Also, most of the best things. The sun starts to become more pale which kicks my SAD (Seasonal Affective) disorder into gear. It’s the turning of the seasons for southern California which means that the blistering hot few weeks from September are finally starting to cool off and I can put the fans away. I can inch the temperature nob on the shower faucet up closer to “hot” and not feel like I’m in a sauna. I put on my thicker winter jackets and realize that my back fat no longer allows me to button them. I can slip on my comfortable imitation Ugg boots and finally put the comforter back on the bed without sweating to death. I start seeing Halloween and Christmas decorations in stores and mutter viciously about corporate holidays and media-driven frenzies while scowling at the happy shoppers.
Alternately, October is the time I used to kick into high gear for the holidays. (I say “used to” because I don’t celebrate anymore. Personal reasons.) I used to plan parties and start buying gifts or crafting them. I would start piecing together my costume. I would buy birthday presents and send off-hand crafted cards. I was BUSY.
Well what do you do now that you’ve stopped celebrating Jess?
I am SO glad you asked!! I PANIC.
Yah because guess what? I’m the Queen of Procrastination and all the goals and projects I’ve been saying I’d do before the end of the year sneak up on me and drown me in importance. More than that though; more than anything else, I watch in dread as NaNoWriMo draws near. Yes, that special brand of Hell where for one whole month we authors are glued to our computers, mired in paragraphs and stressing about word counts.
I freaking love it.
And this year I was hopeful that since I’ve started this journey of “professional writing” I’d be able to get my shit together and not pants it. WAS hopeful.
I decided last month that this was the year I was going to finish the rough draft of my 14 year WIP novel. I floated the idea by some Nano friends and they agreed it was time. COOL! I know the characters really well and I know the general direction of the plot, even if the order of the specifics wasn’t ironed out yet. This’ll be a cinch. I was feeling pretty smug; smug enough indeed to challenge myself to finish last year’s NaNo novel rough draft before November first. Plenty of time!
BUAAHAHAHHAHA *enter the villainous genius of Past Me*
I got the brilliant idea to read the file in my computer labeled “Story Ideas” one night. No harm, right? My NaNo was locked in. I was pleased that Past Me was still genius and that I would read every single book in that file had it been on a shelf in a book store right now. (Healthy bravado, ya know?) Oh I was ALMOST out of danger! One of the last ideas listed was inspired by an idea my little sister had years ago about a symbiosis between humans and Demons.
OMFG. It was the bomb that ruined my perfectly stacked Fall writing schedule.
This PLOT BUNNY WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE. I texted in a panic to my bestie Owen about it and he advised me to give this new bunny a pat on the head by writing a basic outline and then shoving it back in its hole. He had, probably with some relief, helped me come to the decision to write the WIP novel. (Poor chap seems to never get away from my writing rants for long.)
Well that’s just great. It seems that now I had another decision to make. I could:
A. Continue with my previous plan by writing my WIP for 2016 NaNo and fleshing out my rough draft for 2015 Nano in October. This requires fighting off the Plot Bunny long enough to get 1,677 words a day of actual WORK.
B. Say EFF THE SCHEDULE and leap on this new Plot Bunny and give it all the time it deserves, which means scrapping plan A entirely and focusing on outlining this new idea.
Is it nature that makes me a procrastinator or nurture? I’m beginning to think I’m not ever allowed to be a rational organized human being. It pretty much goes against the fabric of my Self. So now I have to make the biggest decision of the 2016 year.
Goody goody gum drops. Prioritize my friends! Don’t be weak like me and give in to Plot Bunnies (if that’s what I decide to do)! Stick to your schedules with an Iron Defense and look straight ahead to the horizon that is on the other end of November!
I’ll be rooting for you in between bouts of Panic and Indecision. Oh, and screw you October.