Welcome (back) to jdstoffel.com, where our (on) crack reporters are keeping (distant) coverage of this (non) story. Now, in case you (probably) missed it, one (semi-inchoate) writer took an unannounced vacation, sparking (absolutely no) protest. Stay tuned for more as (the royal) we interview this (self-referential) rebel.

This news broadcast is sponsored by the Right Pair-Enthesis Foundation. Remember, folks, the parenthetical statement can be a powerful tool in your writing arsenal, but too many left parenthesis marks are, well, left to suffer the world alone. Plus, a hanging parenthesis is such an eyesore. Respect your writing and your readers! These marks were always meant to be paired. Pair your parentheses. (For freedom.)

So, the story as it stands so far (for it is ever-developing, and a reasonable writer’s goal might be for the story to continue long past his active participation in it):

In November, I did not participate in NaNoWriMo. I made vague gestures toward it, but realized that it would be more responsible for me to focus on the projects currently on hand rather than adding yet another to the mountain. Regardless of the result that I got, I think that it was a good decision.

There’s something about November, though, that is just bad for my writing. In the past, I thought it was my slap-fighting gestures toward NaNoWriMo that wrecked me, but now that I solidly dismissed it and still had trouble, I think it’s more the month and the events that surround it. I have a few birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas-incoming, and who knows what else. It’s pressure, and not much of it is very productive pressure.

I kept to my Magic Spreadsheet requirements, but only just barely. I also realized around that time that it had been a few months since I had put in actual solid words on my work-in-progress.

With a new project incoming around the new year, the pressure built and built and then exceeded my capacity to cope. Around the middle of December, I realized I was banging metaphorical rocks together just to make some noise rather than making any progress on anything. Stress levels high, anxiety high, all the bad stuff high. So, I discussed it with Heidi and decided that a sudden but official vacation needed to happen immediately.

The ‘official’ nature of this vacation is very important because otherwise it might come across (in my mind) as mere slacking. I needed some time away from it; after all, I had maintained a steady course for around a year and a half, without missing a day. I didn’t announce it, didn’t write a blog about it, because I just needed to step away. Sorry about that.

Now, more than a month later, it’s time to get back to work. I enjoyed the relief, appreciated the time off, but I don’t have forever to get this writing stuff done. Projects need projecting, plans need planning, et cetera. I tried getting started up while visiting my sister in another state, but learned the hard way that changed circumstances aren’t good for restarting after a hard break. (I think the way it works is that you change your environment to put off the need for the break?) I let myself slide a bit further, because it felt like I needed it.

Unfortunately, it seems that starting up again is going to be difficult no matter what. And that’s fine. I just need to do it. Am I rambling? Perhaps. Perhaps the rambling needs to happen, because by rambling I am recalling what it is like to express myself by means of tip-tapping away at a keyboard (currently the virtual keyboard on my iPad, if you’d like to know). It feels familiar at the moment, yet distant. I think through repetition I will regain my former momentum faster than it took to get up to speed the first time.

Thanks for your patience with this post and with me in general.

To help alleviate the pain of lacking my fiction, I’ll post something a little different tomorrow. Fan fiction.

Oh, yes, you read that right. I shall post my first ever fan fiction story on this here website. I’ve only finished one in my life (with another, more expansive fan fiction story in a separate universe in loose progress right now), so this is sort of special. And I am pretty happy with it. Stay tuned for more, if there ever is any more to which you might tune. (There will be.)

(And, remember, always close your parentheses.

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