Identification Issues


Admittedly, I’ve had this thought recently, but I really thought it was insecurity because I haven’t been writing lately.

What if I’m not really meant to be a writer?

Nicki’s Insecurities

Yeah. But then I was looking through my RSS feed reader (because I’m old and I like that particular way of keeping track of the blogs I like) and I saw a post by NaNo – “Pro Tips from a NaNo Coach: Writing During (and About) Times of Trauma“.

Huh. I’ve written about trauma before. But I don’t need to worry about that this year.

Nicki’s Actual Thoughts

I actually thought that I didn’t need the article because I’m not a writer and so I wouldn’t need the advice.

*record scratch*


(I’m trying not to swear.)

I can’t pinpoint for how long, but I’ve considered myself a writer for years now. Probably since I started co-MLing for our local NaNo region. That’s over 10 years. That’s a long time to stick to an identity, and then to just have it slip away when I wasn’t paying attention?

How did that happen?

You all have heard the story. I had a vacation planned (convention) in January and then I came back and got the flu, and then I got Shingles, and that all combined just ground writing to a halt. And oh, yeah, then we all got shut in for Quarantine, and it’s been FUBARed since then. Pandemic, etc. Personal family crisis, etc.

So I haven’t been writing. And I’ve been OKAY with not writing, because I was creating on YouTube in its place. I couldn’t write because Life, but I could record videos and post them online. Creating is creating, and that need was met.

But I’ve been a writer for ages (I tell the story about the 4th grade book about cat eating mouse that I wrote/illustrated a lot, too, so I won’t retell it), and to not feel like a writer right now is…

It’s making me uneasy.

I made another identification shift this morning, too. Unrelated to writing, etc. So that’s not helping.

I’m so very confused.

I’ll settle into things eventually, I’m sure. But for now…


I don’t even know where to start

Well. October has arrived, and we’re inching closer to an election and National Novel Writing Month, and then suddenly Thanksgiving will be gone and Christmas will be here and then suddenly 2020 will be over and it’ll be time to pay taxes and…

October is the start of the fastest time of my life. Let’s just say that. Generally, once October is here, I’m looking forward to NaNo, and then I’m scared because time has sped up and Christmas is almost here and I’m not ready for it, and then Christmas is over and we get past all of our December birthdays and celebrations, and I get to take a break, but then I’ve been so wound up for so long I deflate and take two and a half months to relax, and then, yes, suddenly taxes are due and I’m panicking about them.

But once we get past April 15th (most years *cough*fucking2020*cough*), time resumes it’s normal speed.

For now, though, I’m in October.

It’s different than any other year. I’m (finally) not freaking out or getting depressed about or looking forward to or upset about National Novel Writing Month.

This is M.A.J.O.R.

H U G E .

As in, I haven’t experienced this since 2002, the year before I discovered NaNo. And it only got worse in the years I was working as a co- or solo-Municipal Liaison. It’s been a couple of years since I did that, but those years I were the dark years, not the excited/frantic ones.

I’m grateful that I’m not dragging myself out to events I’m not having fun at. This is not to say that I didn’t like the people at the events. I love many of the people at the events. But I need a break.

It’s going to be interesting to experience a normal October and November. I know 2020 isn’t normal, but a year where I’m not spending every moment in October plotting a novel I’ll never write (I’m a pantser and it’s silly that I keep trying to be otherwise). A year where I don’t spend every second in November kicking myself for not writing. A year where December doesn’t sneak up and kick my ass because I was so busy in October and November, I couldn’t prepare for Christmas. Where my birthday sneaks up. Where the first quarter of the new year slips by unnoticed because I’m so glad the last quarter of the previous one is over.

Well. I’m harping, I suppose. And I make it sound like I have no choice in how time passes or how I spend my time, but I know that I do. I suppose I’m just excited to actually feel in control. To take a little bit of time to really remember what these months feel like without the clutter of external events.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, which probably sounds odd. I’m going to write something. Maybe finish a previously begun novel, maybe write something completely different. But I can do it without guilt, without frustration that’s been plaguing me for the past few years. Without resentment at my inability to accomplish at meetings the very things we are attending to achieve. Socialization with my peers is fabulous, but I used to be able to write.

Well, welcome to October.