The Calm Before the Storm

September is here. That moment of sheer terror that fills my mind with to-do lists, a cluttered calendar, and constant contact.

I’ve discovered the last week or two that I’ve been disconnecting myself with my online life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally a very connected person. I’ve been known to spend upwards of 10-12 hours each day working at the computer, chatting, writing, working, and more.

I’ve been in a strange, almost withdrawn mode, staying away from chat, avoiding social media (well, more than usual. My G+ feed is depressingly empty, for me.)

This feels very much like the calm before the storm. It occurred to me while wracking my brain for a topic to write this blog about that this is me preparing for what is to come.

When October hits in earnest, I must immerse myself in the NaNoWriMo forums, answering questions, guiding thread creators to the proper forums, troubleshooting, wrangling beta testers, as well as near-constant staff meetings at OLL. I go to local write-ins, run sprints on NaNo Word Sprints, have lots of coffee, and in general, am more social and involved than I am with anything at any other time in life.

This year presents even more challenges, but I realized that I am actually retreating from this hyperconnectivity before it begins.

I’ve been thinking of the novel I want to write; for the first time in a long time, I know what I’m writing before NaNoWriMo. At a time when many people are getting more connected to the event, I’m trying to disconnect more.

It’s a survival technique, I think. For more than a decade now, this has been my fall. Fall is synonymous with falling leaves, cooling temperatures, and NaNoWriMo.

I don’t think this is a bad thing, either. For me, writing has become intensely social; something that was once painfully solitary has become the precise opposite. In a way, that need to be a part of something has almost crippled my ability to write anything else.

But I’m finding balance. Any writer has to find balance; for that matter, it’s not a problem exclusive to writers at all. I often devote myself with a frightening focus to a particular task or interest for months at a time, only to drop them and find something else later. It’s a pattern that is starting to bother me more and more, as I reorganize my mind and my life. I want to devote the right amount of time to everything… not just one thing to the exclusion of all else!

So, as NaNoWriMo comes, what are you doing to prepare, if anything? I’m planning my deep breath before the other shoe drops. What about you?