Then life gets in the way.
I’ve been looking forward to NaNo since last year. As time moved faster and November got closer, my excitement level increased by leaps and bounds. I cleared my schedule for the entire month of November as far back as August. Nothing was going to stop me from the writing train and I was bound and determined to end November with a finished novel.
I work best under pressure and deadlines, so in my mind, NaNo seemed like the perfect tool to force me to do something I love, something that makes me happier than anything else I can imagine.
Ideas filled my mind, I knew what I wanted to write and I knew I had it in me, all I needed was a blank page and some solitude.
Check and check.
This is the part where excuses, legitimate though they may be, began to build a wall between me and my dream.
Look, it might sound like a cop out, but when my Dad died on September 26th this year, it threw me off emotionally.
Sure, maybe I could attempt to write through my grief but there were complications called family and no matter how many times I explained I had a commitment for the month of November, legalities wait for no one.
And when you’re dealing with a lack of sympathy for the loss of your last living Parent from your own blood relatives, it does something to your heart.
When you are immediately thrown into a situation, unprepared and without legal control, when you have to deal not only with grief but also with the reality of the impending loss of the home you considered yours all your life, when you have to listen to strangers put a monetary value on your childhood, your memories, well, it messes with your mind and makes you question things you didn’t even know were questionable.
Like, who is this stranger I call brother and why does he look at me like I’m someone he never met but has to deal with?
And why am I getting yelled at over the phone because I shut my ringer off for an hour so I could sleep because, you know, ‘family’, that I have fibro and chronic fatigue and sometimes I crash?
Look what I just did, I babbled about my excuses when logically, I could have used this time to write, like, NaNo-write.
But at this moment in my life, when everything I knew to be true crumbled as I twisted myself pretzel-like trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, I don’t feel right committing myself to something I know will be forced out of my hands whether I like it or not.
Sure, I understand so many of you are working a full time job, raising a family, and still participating in NaNo and I wish I could do the same right now.
But I also know, if I attempt to push myself through while navigating so much legal stuff that I haven’t even had the time to seriously grieve yet, without a doubt, I’ll crash and burn for a few months at the rate I’m going.
There is a lot of infighting I can’t talk about yet, but my stress level is equal to all the stress in my life added together.
My middle child refuses to allow me to continue living until this family mess is straightened out, and truthfully, I feel like the guy in the middle of a boxing ring, I’ve already taken a few hits and I know there’s more in store until the house is sold and The Best Family Story is put to bed. The End.
It breaks my heart.
But back to NaNo, it’s November 2nd and it just started yesterday. It’s breaking my already broken heart even more because I feel bad that I said I was going to do something and didn’t follow through.
I’m trying to look at it in a more positive light: maybe I can’t participate in NaNo this year but I can still write.
I’m involved in the most awesome Fiction Relay right now and just wrote my first ‘chapter’ a few days ago (psst, read it, it’s right here on this blog, like, the previous post, she said with shameless self promotion). I turned in my Super Secret Project 2 days ago and I’ve also got a WIP offline that I’ve now decided will be worked on as hard as possible while NaNo is happening, in a way, it will make me feel almost a part of it.
I am a writer.
I don’t say that very often, I tend to downplay anything good about myself. I think there’s a clause about that when you’re born under the sign of Cancer. That and tears.
But I am a writer, and NaNo or Nah-Nope, I will continue to write.
I just wish I was NaNo-ing, but as they say, everything happens for a reason.
I think I’m going to try and believe there is a good reason behind this.
Because I am a writer.