You might have noticed an increase in the frequency of my blog updates since November began. This is not merely because of the fact that October, which was the busiest month of them all, has ended, although that is a contributing factor.
It's also because November has begun. November is, for many, "National Novel Writing Month," or NaNoWriMo for shortsies. I have had a novel lurking around my brain for far too long, and have decided that last year's sad excuse ("but I have to prepare for the GRE!" ... in retrospect, I suppose I did alright at this, as my GRE score helped to employ me through March) will not stand. I am not signed up for any test to take its place (missed the deadling for the Japanese proficiency exam signup.. ohh darn. /sarcasm), so that means November is as open as any month is going to ever be.
When I considered doing NaNoWriMo, I have decided that is it more important to me to "be a writer" this month than it is to finish 50,000 words of a novel. NaNoWriMo urges that quantity, even above quality, which would not be okay with me, considering that my story idea has been cooking for too long now to give it the short shrift on quality. So, my goal is broader: "Be a writer."
How should I consider to do that? Well it's actually pretty easy. A writer writes. So that's what I'll do.
I've made a daily task list, five things, of which doing all five is Awesome, but doing three is Important. Work on the novel, write a blog entry, write a letter (or e-mail of letter length/quality, write a journal entry (this includes any random vignette short story, also), and study Japanese. Of course, the "study Japanese" injunction doesn't fit in perfectly amongst the others, but it too is important, it too should be considered daily, and it too is related to language and will improve my life as a writer as well as in general.
In addition, JET upstairs, JET-M and I are creating a writing circle. I'm not sure what this will mean, except that I suppose I'll produce my novel-to-date and all the silly little vignettes I've written every two weeks at a local coffeeshop for their approval. This is intended to carry on much longer than November, of course.
I looked up NaNoWriMo (to make sure I had it spelled right, mostly) and discovered that it was assigned to November "to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather." On the first of this month, I scoffed, thinking, whoever made up this idea clearly did not live in Japan in the bright beautiful autumn sunshine while the mountains were patching out in bursts of vivid color.
Last night, I was thinking, it must have been invented by someone in Japan who realized that November would best be spent under the warmth of a kotatsu typing than by attempting to venture out into the room, much less outside the house.
November has come and I will probably buy a heater today. Because life without it will only suck more as time goes on. Seriously, I am learning what it's like to live in a castle: drafty, un-insulated, and populated by bugs. Last night, I complained to the JET next door, "But it's only 50!" remebering how in Kansas, when it was only 50, I wasn't complaining so much.
But, she pointed out, it's not only 50 outside, it's 50 in here, too, and that makes all the difference. And indeed it does. In Kansas, where it was 50 outside but still 70 inside (68 when I started winning the energy bill battles against Roommate), well that was a whole different thing.
I am a southerner, which is kind of a different species, and I'm afraid my blood is going to freeze at a distinctly lower temperature than Northern Folk, and the Japanese.
Long story short, I'm going to write more, and I need a kotatsu.