Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Happy Preptober”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, October 30, 2020

Ready or not, here I come! It’s hard to believe that today is Friday, the last workday of October—thirty days since this month began, and here I am not much further along than the first day of the month. I almost didn’t write this piece today because I felt I failed to produce for Preptober.

What saved me was, for some reason, this morning, I made time to listen to Alison Lumbatis’ Friday Coffee Chat. I used to join her every Friday morning before I began my writing schedule, which now conflicts with her air time. It wasn’t so much the words from her chat that inspired me to write today’s column, but the unspoken words that triggered many thoughts. One invaluable thought was that I miss participating in the groups that I am a member of. After I began my writer’s life, something had to give. I knew that I wanted to continue fostering my relationships, which I have done with long regular chats with my friends and family. Everything I do seems to vie for the same chunk of my time. 

Something had to give, and my groups went by the wayside. Today’s Coffee Chat made me realize that it is time to resurrect that part of my life. I tried to participate in Wok Wednesday again, but as October comes to a close, I doubt I will have time to make this month’s dish. I will keep trying, though.

In the meantime, I tackle my preparations for NaNoWriMo, which was the purpose of Preptober. Since I am not where I wanted to be by now, I felt I failed with Preptober. This morning I realized that Preptober is all about what we need to help us prepare to write our novels come November 1, which means I need to break away from my literal self and allow me to create freely. With that said, Jessica Brody provided the guidelines for Preptober, but I make Preptober work for me. This thought erased the word failure from my self-critic. 

I may not have my whole novel fleshed out, outline written, and every detail researched, but I have a strong start. There’s much more work to do but today is not over. This month is not over. That means I have time. I am learning what I suspected all along that I’m not a complete Plotter, and I knew I wasn’t a Pantser. For last year’s NaNoWriMo, I wanted to write a new novel so badly because I hadn’t written in far too long with all the life challenges that I faced up to that point. I had a story idea that I wanted to write, but my mind was overwhelmed with loss and unconsciously still in mourning. November 1 arrived whether I was ready or not. I dove in, thinking that I was a Pantser, and the story would unfold as I tapped the keys. It was grueling trying to think up the content as I wrote each day. I completed the NaNoWriMo challenge with 50,001 words. I learned from this challenge that I am way more a Plotter than a Pantser who flies by the seat of her pants. Knowing this helps me appreciate Preptober more.

I’ve gotten what I need to begin my novel on November 1. Initially, I equated Preptober to only the story development process, but that’s not true. For me, it means I spend October getting my whole life in order while brainstorming my story as I get ready for NaNoWriMo. In that way, my Preptober is looking very much like a huge success. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you Happy Writing and Happy Preptober!

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