I signed up for author Jeannine Garsee’s Grapemo in July project on Facebook this month. Grapemo started as a sort of “NaNoWriMo Revisited” in February on Jen’s blog. I swore off NaNo years ago after my second attempt, because it burns me out so badly that any headway I might make in November is erased by the fact that afterwards I’d rather have my teeth drilled than do anymore writing before…let’s say April. Every year I am hideously, frighteningly tempted, even though I much prefer the Novel in 90 approach first introduced to me by author Elizabeth Bear; it’s more my speed and much less destructive to my peace of mind and creativity.
In Grapemo though, you set your own PWGs–Personal Writing Goals. They don’t even have to be word- or page-counts. Which is good, because right now I’m dealing with some kind of scary level of creative burnout, a term I thought I made up, but which a little googling has revealed, is a real thing and other people have it, have had it, and have recovered from it.
I blame mine on school. The deadlines. The deadlines! The relentless deadlines! When I get to the end of this, I told myself, I am going to get so much done! I’m going to clean my house, ride my bike, sell my novel (godlight), write another (seldom untitled), do a couple of just-for-me graphic design projects, visit everyone I know, go places, see things, do stuff!
Class ended two months ago and I have done none of those things. The frightening part to me is, I don’t want to do any of those things. I only even vacuum up Cobie’s furricane because not doing so scares me. (What if lightning strikes the house and animates that fur?! What I have mostly done is sit around. I haven’t even watched the shows backed up on the DVR; I just deleted a lot of them. The old man, aka T-Moth, did most of the planting this year (admittedly there wasn’t much) and I just supervised.
So Grapemo. The PWGs I chose were: 1.) To write two pages a week of anything at all. (And trust me, this blog entry is going to count!) 2.) To read the new Donald Maass book, Writing 21st Century Fiction, which has been lying on my dresser untouched since I ordered it last winter some time. 3.) Try some of the burnout-busters I read during my Grapemo research phase, such as writing in new locations and clearing my desk.
Which brings me to a Friday Five: Five things I found while clearing my desk.
1.) The receipt for Writing 21st Century Fiction
2.) My graphic design portfolio review master list
3.) Roughly eleventy-thousand sugar-free jelly belly cellophanes
4.) A half-a-dozen important tidbits jotted on index cards, and
5.) A whole mess of safety pins, paper clips, rubber bands, and things that made me wonder if “miscellanea” is a word. It is. So you could say I found a new-to-me word on my desk. I think when–if–I do some more writing type stuff, I will try to work it in.
Miscellanea. It’s a good word, I think.