• Douglas J. McLeod

Another November Fallen Short

There's a saying that goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This was definitely true, yet again, during the past month.

I started off November with the intent of participating in National Novel Writing Month; something I have done almost every November since 2009. Unfortunately, like most of my attempts since moving to Florida five years ago, it's fallen short of the goal of 50,000 words written during the 30-day period. This year's monthly total ended up being about 11,000 words; however, it took 3 different projects and 3 class assignments to achieve that number. As with the case every NaNoWriMo since 2016, I'm pointing the finger at my day job and the aforementioned class as the reasons why I fell short. But in retrospect, I find my muse to be more fleeting than ever this year. Could the current pandemic be adding water to the dwindling creative fire within me?

I should take some solace in the fact I did release two books this year: the romance novella collection myself and three other Florida-based authors came together on, "Love on the Edge of Danger", and my sixth poetry collection, "Stanzas in Self-Isolation". Yet, there have been numerous ideas I've started upon, only to cease work on them a few thousand words into them. Is my muse developing the attention span of a gnat? This would explain why the so-called "plot bunnies" keep popping up whenever I've started a new work; distracting my attention to consider those new ideas instead of focusing on the project at hand.

Now that my class has finished for the semester, one would think I'd have time to focus on my current project. But my muse is still asleep at the proverbial wheel; needing a creative defibrillator to jump start it back to consciousness. At any rate, I'm hoping it resuscitates within the next few days because I feel if it doesn't, the next month will be wasted once again. My reader base is minimal as it is, and in a literary world where demand seems to ask, "What have you written for us lately?", said base would erode quicker than the polar ice caps due to global warming.

That's something I don't want to fathom after being on this crazy creative ride for the past decade.

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