Even when I just do it for fun, I don't just do it for fun.
I realized that last night while IMing to a writing friend. I've had no time, as evidenced by the long gap between the last post and this. Like so many others, my family has been hit hard by the massive economic drop. In the years prior, I was a work-at-home and then a stay-at-home mom, and that had to change. My spirit was willing, but my use to employers was weak; there are too many people who have not been out of the work force for so long and who have the proper skills and/or degrees competing for the same jobs. I decided there would be no better time to return to college and get that degree.
Jumping in head first and late, I selected five classes for my 'add/drop' plate (one more than required for full time in case I didn't get one of the others), never realizing that they would all be reading (and most also writing) heavy. I'm having a horrible time balancing full time student with wife and mother, other things in my life are being neglected, yet I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year.
My brother pushed a small (but still heavy and painful, damn it!) T.V. on my head when we were little and apparently the effects are just being seen now.
There are better reasons for me to do NaNo than insanity. It's tradition. I do it every year and fall short of the goal; why change now that I have good reason to fall short? It might actually force me into better time management skills. I love the feeling of community NaNo brings. And I haven't really written fiction since school started, and I miss it.
So I was chatting with my friend about NaNo and explained my big idea...See, with no plot or characters calling me into November, I'd decided to use pre-NaNo October to populate a city. I dedicated a spare notebook, and in between studies or riding on the train, I could jot down character ideas. At midnight, when Halloween becomes All Saints', I would sit and write for whatever character "has the most to say."
Why not? It's just for the joy of it and to get the creative juices flowing. But then came my "ah ha moment." Wouldn't it be fun to make a play on all the mystery books/movies that have a killer staging murders out of some hapless author's books? What if some psycho ill-casts all the characters into urban fantasy scenes? It sounds, to me, dumb and brilliant and a blast to write.
I went on about the legalities to my friend who said something like, "Who cares? It's just for fun. Don't worry about that until you're getting published."
Heh. I treat every story like it's going to get published, don't I? Is that a good thing? A sense of striving that will someday push me over from would-be novelist to novelist actual? Or is it part of the pressure that gets me hung up on poorly paced middles and unsatisfactory endings--so hung up that these things never quite get fixed in revision? Hmmm....