It’s strange to consider that my writing life really only took off when I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. I had written novels and short stories, but the mad dash I made toward 50,000 words over the days and nights of a chilly and rainy November began my career as a published author.
It’s amazing to think that thirteen years ago this month, I took the first steps that would change my life completely.
I think this may be my last National Novel Writing Month. I can imagine someone would love to pick up Just Jess as his or her NaNoWriMo 2016 account handle. That old, reliable account name did me quite a bit of good. It may even be a lucky WriMo account handle. I have dozens of manuscripts and four published novels because I participated every November in the free-for-all writing life year after year. I feel like a winner when I complete a NaNoWriMo manuscript. Then, I feel tired.
Right now, I also feel tired. Frayed at the edges. Worn out and dog-eared. One of my NaNoWriMo 2012 novels is in print. The other has been renamed from its working title and is a shelved work in progress. It should have been published in the middle of National Novel Writing Month 2015, right in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush. Today, I have no estimated date of publication. I am in a truly demoralizing predicament.
Can I even get inspired to participate this year? Though naming my NaNoWriMo project “No Current Novel” looks interesting, who needs another navel-gazing, novel-gazing novelist bemoaning life as a writer?
Well, whatever happens to Just Jess, I’m still holding fast to that account name until December first. Maybe this year will spark something new and exciting, and I will be inspired to keep participating until I celebrate my twenty-fifth anniversary as a National Novel Writing Month participant.
Anything is possible in the writing life. That’s what makes the writing life a good life, even when it’s not so good at the moment.