I signed up. I made an ambitious goal to write my daily word count while also attending class 2 nights a week and working full time. I fell behind. And I lost interest in my topic halfway through. Ultimately, I failed at NaNoWriMo, but I was also able to work out some things in my head when I was writing and I was able to let something go.
A few months back, someone mentioned that someone I knew had started providing services to men for a fee. I thought it was just a rumour. Until I found this person's website and realized that it was a fact. I shared my knowledge with a few others that also knew this person -- some laughed, some were disgusted. I felt sadness. I was sad that this person would allow men to rate her in such an intimate way. I was sad that this person put a price based on market rates on herself. I was sad wondering what could motivate a person to make this decision.
And that's what had me spellbound with the entire thing. The motivation that would allow you to put out a menu of services and allow men to literally let other men know you were a good time and what number to call. To be fair, I have never been faced with the choice to make and so can only think through all of this using my own experiences, values and ideas.
The novel I was working on was about this subject. About the effects of duality on one's psyche as this industry is fairly secretive. What would it do to you if you were one person around certain people and another person around others. What would go through your head if your two worlds collided? Not just bumping into each other, but finding out a client is married to your mom's friend and they are invited to family dinner. And then the whole idea that you are aiding a multitude of men cheat on their wives or significant others all for an agreed upon dollar amount. And the entire trust/safety issue -- how could you be sure that a client didn't have ill intentions, especially when you are keeping this part of your life a secret from those that will miss you most?
The premise of my novel was interesting enough and the research I did to learn more about this industry was fascinating -- the language, the etiquette, the menus. Watching independent service providers and agencies fight for wallet share using online ad boards (filled with shooting star and heart characters as well as a mix of upper and lower case letters, reminiscent of the way a teen girl would portray her avatar name on instant messaging 10 plus years ago). But somewhere between day 1 of writing and day 10, I just didn't care anymore. I was tired of having my head in a space of a person who has put her worth up for sale, specials every weekend, for one weekend only.
I stopped writing. I stopped researching. I am trying to stop caring about this person I knew and the decisions she has made. Because it's not my business, I don't know why she has chosen a path that I would never consider a choice, and there is nothing anyone can do to tell her she is worth more than 3 bills an hour. She is an adult and this is what she wants to do with her life. And although I think the novel could have ended up being something really interesting to read, I don't think it's my story to tell.
Although I technically failed NaNoWriMo, I think it was more of a reconsideration about the topic and what I was wasting energy on. Maybe next year. Rainman has demanded that I finish a novel so he can read it.