Before I get into it, I’m just gonna give a quick inventory of what happened last week:
- All of my midterm stresses culminated: Wrote midterm essay in its entirety. Was actually pleasantly surprised to see that I knew 67% of the material on the two consecutive geo exams, which is just pitiful. Entered the part of the semester in which every spare moment is spent in the library.
- Senior Exam AKA the worst thing I have ever done in my entire life (more on that later. That deserves its own post.)
- Stepmom went through a (successful!) breast cancer surgery, a nerve-wracking experience that I had to miss because of the two bullets above this, which is also pitiful.
- Was a part of two of my favorite people in the world getting hitched (in my backyard.)
My point is that these are very stressful things. And remember how I mentioned National Novel Writing Month a few weeks ago? Yeah. No. But I have been planning this for a while so I still think this is worth saying. I currently have no intentions of writing a novel, but I know some fantastic people on track for that during the month of November. I even know one person who has already done it and is planning on doing it again. I am in awe of their word count schedules and planning and I am green with envy whenever one says they are “stuck on their novel.” When do I get to be cool enough to say sentences like that?! It seems so unfair, but like, reality. NaNoWriMo was not made for undergraduates. Mostly, time is an issue. Even on a regular week without several life altering events, I have a very hard time keeping writing as a part of my daily life. That was actually the only aspect of NaNoWriMo I was hoping to fulfill. Rather than attempt a 50,000 word novel, which I knew would was not a practical goal and is not really in line with what I am looking to accomplish (I’m really not interested in the novel life yet. I’m still casually dating short stories and having a lot of fun, so I’m definitely not looking for that kind of commitment), I made my own goal which sounds laughable but I was 100% serious.
I was going to challenge myself to simply write something every day that would somehow result in a collection of stories/essays based on each song in T. Swift’s 1989. I was thinking of calling it #Disenchanted. Hear me out.
If you are currently in your twenties, or are almost in your twenties, or have been in your twenties, you know that things get fucking weird. I am very interested in capturing why specifically it is weird to be in your twenties right now. Think about all the weird things that have and will continue to affect us that have never been an issue before: In a broader sense, I think of adjusting to technology changes and talentless celebrity role models. More specifically, I think of things like Snapchat and the fact that “We’re talking” is a legitimate thing, of memes, and of an oppressively huge generation of baby boomers telling us that our generation is essentially worthless. As an aspiring writer, it can be so tempting to just write about the world of real grown-ups even if you don’t think are one yet. This is especially true when most of the significant influences in your life have probably pounded it into your head that the things you care about don’t matter. I have to argue that it’s okay to care about things that don’t actually matter. Do you think that every single moment of every piece of fine literature has quote “mattered?” You make it matter. That’s kind of the point. Who could possibly represent that better than Taylor Swift? No one, that’s who. I don’t see myself ever regretting trying to capture moments that have at some point been significant and turning those into story ideas. My hope was that by the end of the month, I would have a bunch of short-shorts that I could then expand the good ideas into lengthier works and I could get in the habit of balancing the writing that matters to me with the writing that I am required to do.
It is November 10th and I have already failed 7 times. I have written, but not much and nothing actually relating to #Disenchanted. Here’s the part where I have to be nice to myself, because that was an extremely terrible week that I literally could not have squeezed any more life out of. So far, this week is only slightly better. Oh. And have I mentioned how I haven’t even begun to think about Senior Project for this semester? But I can see the light at the end of the undergrad tunnel, and I would really like to do this by the time I reach that light. I have decided to modify my NaNoWriMo goals even more to where they are now even unrecognizable to the actual national thing, so let’s just say #Disenchanted. I still have one essay, all the final essays and exams, a Jan Term bio class, and a senior portfolio between me and that degree, so I’m just gonna be realistic and say I will do it when I do it. Maybe I’ll try again with the daily habit later, when I don’t have a hundred other things to write at all times. Until then, catch me jamming to 1989 and thinking about the metaphorical resonances like I have been from day one.