It’s slowly starting to get cold again. NaNoWriMo is approaching. The Group¹ will be starting another game shortly, based around a Star Wars homage to Firefly.
NaNoWriMo has consistently served to remind me that writing 50,000 words is an achievable goal in a month’s time. It also reminds me that I’m a slacker, because I write words all fucking day, but haven’t done so in a way that produces results. Last year’s event was a complete non-issue for me, but last year was spent in the throes of relationship woes, so *all* writing was a non-issue at the time. This year, I’m going to give it an honest shot. Success is a great way to get the stink off of things.
The problem? No fucking clue what I’d write about. None whatsoever. I normally have a shitload of ideas and a lack of motivation. It’s quite possibly the opposite this year, though laziness is a constant X-factor.
The game will likely help. I’m good with tabletop games, because most of the world has already been built, and there is generally a path that has been laid to follow. When it comes to characterization, I generally do pretty okay in creating a compelling meatbag, and allowing their virtual psyche to run amok in the sandbox.
Self-propelled projects are a different story. I was once able to churn out words like fucking kudzu, generating stories that were huge, despite being pure crap. As I’ve gotten older, my characterization and storytelling abilities have started to mature, seemingly at the expense of my formerly bottomless drive to produce. This has put me in a position where I tend to shine when playing in someone else’s world, but pound my head on the desk repeatedly when it comes to writing out my own stories.
The older I get, the more comfortable I am with the hypothesis that I work much better as part of a team. Honestly, I think NaNoWriMo is going to be my last hurrah for personal storytelling; I really just want to be able to say that I fucking did it, with the added benefit of having forced myself to get used to writing every single day for a month. Producing a Great Work of my own seems of little importance these days; right now, I really just want to be a productive part of something.
In order to properly embrace that, however, I really fucking need to stop dropping projects. The laziness is powerful in me, and I suspect that it’s a product of both ADHD and Depression, both of which have gone untreated my entire adult life. Creative bursts of inspiration are no longer enough to put me in front of the keys; fuck, they’re barely enough to get me to pull Notepad up and document the base idea of the inspiration, and even then, it’s 50/50.
Though my laziness primarily affects me, it also affects others on a fair number of occasions. There are a number of group projects that have suffered from inaction or blame-shifting on my part. The first that comes to mind is Colin’s educational-comic project, which he’s commissioned my writing abilities for. The second is a group script for a Star Wars fan film/series spearheaded by Ryan and a colleague of his; the premise was an interesting homage to BSG, and an opportunity to tell a great story in a universe that so often lacks them. There are plenty others that I can’t think of; that alone is indicative of an ongoing problem.
Going further, I’ve been dying to GM my own game for ages. I’ve run plenty of collaborative stories before, which required only my knowledge of power dynamics and social interaction. Since being introduced to internet-adapted tabletop gaming, I’ve been champing at the bit to get familiar with a gaming system and throw a bunch of my favorite players in the mix. To that end, I’ve been brewing a story off and on for a few years, and am finally in a position to make that story a reality. Some of the regulars are reportedly excited about getting involved with it, which really should make *me* excited to get it started.
But it doesn’t. It just brings up feelings of inadequacy. Furthermore, I can’t seem to get myself to jot down more than a few ideas every week. They’re sitting in Notepad, just congealing. I keep thinking that with enough ideas in there, the story will just suddenly explode in my brain, and I’ll be off like a race horse. It’s becoming rapidly apparent, however, that I’m only fucking around and picking at it. It’s like some sort of “bare minimum” that I’ve established for myself, and it’s getting me nowhere. I know the fuckin’ story, I know the Bigs of what I want to accomplish, and I know enough about the surroundings and the theme that I can likely deal with the player-generated Smalls without compromising the overarching goal/reveal. All I need to do, really, is craft a general outline of characters, locations and events for the first chapter of the game; the rest will come as the story unfolds. It doesn’t strike me as difficult; indeed, it really isn’t difficult at all. The difficult part is getting myself to sit still for long enough, without getting distracted or giving up out of fear.
As mentioned earlier, there are people interested in playing the game. According to Kt, there are people *excited* about the game, herself included. The longer I wait to get it finished and running, the more I run the risk of the game becoming overhyped and not living up to expectations, or worse yet, losing the players’ interest altogether. Time to get my shit in gear.
As an aside, there really are times I regret not going to college and getting myself on a career track; I could really use the psychiatric medical coverage right now. Then again, this really has served to be the shittiest year of my entire life up to this point, and I say that with no hyperbole attached. Maybe some of this is both allowed and expected of me right now. Regardless, I know that people have expectations of me, or want me to prove to them that they should *continue* to have expectations of me. Shit, *I* have expectations of myself, and more delusions of grandeur than I can shake a dick at. I know I have potential. I know other people see it in me. For once, I’d really like to start living up to that. Maybe then, I can start seriously positioning myself to be a professional creative force.
While we’re on the subject of shittiest years ever. One of these days, very soon, I’m going to start writing about my last relationship. It lasted four years, and the fallout has largely ruin the bulk of 2010 for me. As each day passes, the out-and-out depression bouts have lessened. Eventually, I’d like to get the point where I can make a conscious decision to either ignore the depression by doing something productive, or to productively wallow in the memories with the intention of learning something beneficial about myself and the experience. Right now, however, I’m still fairly rudderless; the only thing that’s improved is my ability to hide it.
Fair warning: I really don’t think it’s going to be interesting content; relationship drama rarely is, when it doesn’t somehow involve you or characters you’re familiar with. I just really don’t know what else to do with it, and I can’t continue to let it tear my head apart. For the two or three readers who might run into it, feel free to gloss over when it happens; I’ll make a point to avoid doing it every day.
Anyway. Small starts. NaNoWriMo², the game, and then rekindling old projects and making up for lost time. I know that I can complete NaNoWriMo; the question is whether or not I’ll lose the drive and ignore it.
Less than a month away. I guess we’ll find out.