Monday, September 24, 2012

Election Season or Writing Season?

With the Presidential, Senatorial, and House elections ramping up for November Election Day, a question tugs on my mind. Outside of the results, do we writers even care?

My answer is no. I know who I am voting for and I'm slated to get a mail-in ballot. I'm far more concerned with what I am going to write in November (as in National Novel Writing Month).  I've been hard at work (except for August) slaving away on Volume 4 of my Zaran Journals series. Volume 5 is my target for November and I have precious little prepared. To be fair, by the time you get to a fifth volume, there isn't much need for world building or character creation, that part is done and ready at the drop of a hat (or space suit helmet). No, it is the actual story that I will torture my characters with. As the days tick by, it is that stress that worries me, not who my choices are in any given race for office.

I guess it is one of the hazards of being a writer. I have a deadline. I have to know what my story is and where it starts by the end of All Hallows Eve so I can start my NNWM project on All Saints Day. I have to plan out when I can write, how much, and what days. I have less than the whole month to produce my goal, a complete novel written in a 30 day period (well, just the rough draft). If you have picked up either Well of Dreams or Pirates of I'ab, you have in your hand the length of work I intend to write in November. Just a hair over 110k words in 11 chapters. I have to have a story to fill that and be interesting, exciting, and that develops my characters in the direction I want them to go. The normal goal is about half that.

I've done it before, I can do it this year, or so I'm telling myself. Fortunately, if I don't finish by December 1st, I have a secondary deadline, December 23rd. I don't want to make use of that because I want to write a short story or two for more immediate publication in December.

So, while I am concerned with who will win in November on Election day, here in Colorado the polls are already indicating who this state will pick for President and neither of our Senators is up for re-election so the results of election night are out of my hands. I'll get my ballot filled out and sent in as soon as I get it and join the masses obsessing over the results that first Tuesday, but aside from that, I will be way too focused on Writing to give it much attention. November belongs to us writers, so for me, it is writing season, not election season.

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