{November 2, 2015}   Why My NaNo became Nah-Nope

Good intentions.
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.


I totally understand the stress. I did not do NaNo a few years but I did write. I’ve got two small bits of advice: 1) Give yourself a break. Don’t put too much pressure on you. 2) Umm, it’s ONLY Nov. 2. Really! Don’t say you’re not doing it quite yet.

Do those two conflict? Hmmm? Maybe!

No conflict there Louisa, at least not in my brain 😀
I didn’t know it was possible to hop on the writing train after November 1st! So maybe I DON’T have to give up totally! Thank you so much, you’ve made me feel so much better about the whole writing thing, I need to retrain my brain so I’m more like you because while I’m saying it’s already November 3rd (as of now), you’re saying it’s only November 3rd…. glass half full/glass half empty lol
You are an Angel with a capital A!
PS: I didn’t realize that when I posted this on FB and tagged you it would also appear on your page, I thought you’d just get a notification {shame face} so I apologize for that, I’m realizing that not only do I have a Work In Progress, I myself am a Work In Progress, thank you for making me realize that little nugget 🙂 ❤

Andy says:

Don’t put yourself under pressure. Write when you feel the freedom to write. Pick another month, and treat exactly how you would November.

Thank you Andy, you’re right, I can pick another month, or as Louisa said, I can still hop on the writing train even though it left the station, there are lots of stops on the way, I can still catch the train at the next stop 🙂
❤ You always make me feel better Andy, many hugs your way ❤

Hi Joanne, I am sorry that you have to work through all these problems at once. And all the grief and sorrow you have been dealing with lately must be wearisome (this was the most positive word I could find to describe it), so I think you are doing the best possible in a moment like this. Ok, you don’t do NaNo, but then again, you have other projects and write nevertheless. Uhm doesn’t that mean you sort of do NaNo, only without the word count? Seriously, you should not put yourself under more pressure than you have to deal with anyways. You wrote it, you didn’t even have time to grieve, and with all the other stuff going on, I’d say taking a step back –if only a little one- could be just right.
I am glad that you have the relay and your other wip, because they also help to get the mind free, which is so important in some moments. Just doing something fun sounds great in those not awesome times, if only to give us this little bit of energy to keep going through a difficult time. I hope you have someone nearby to hug, that’s what I need a lot in such situations, someone to hold, someone who can let me feel love and care. I want you to have that, a lot of that and then one more. It doesn’t mean that the grief and sorrow disappears, but somehow it helps to get through it. (((hugs))) and (((hugs))) 🙂

hugs and love


Delilah says:

Hey Sweet girl, you are up in the Fiction Relay. I am a sorry worthless host and haven’t updated the summary. I will try to get it updated by tomorrow.

Hi Doll, I suck and I’m a loser BUT I promise I’ll have it finished and posted by tomorrow evening at the latest .Stupid life stuff has had me in its grip but we just got the probate stuff straightened out today actually , I promise I won’t be late again, this is what’s been taking up all my time because my brother lost the will (like, huh?) Anyway that’s all straightened out as of an hour ago, so writing spurt , here I come! Thanks for not hating me (I hope! Lol) I’ll make you proud , promise sweetest ♡

With my tail between my legs, I apologize profusely for forgetting Thanksgiving was going to take all my time, so it’s now Friday morning and aside from my head hanging low in shame, I can only once again give you my word that I’ll be finished before the weekend is finished. I’ve started writing but still need to finish it. I can’t apologize enough but and I already broke my first promise so I don’t want to use that word again. I suck but it won’t happen again. I hate being late, I hate going against my word because it’s not my usual modus operandi, I can only hope you can forgive me and know I mean it when I say this will NEVER happen again.

Delilah says:

Don’t stress yourself out. Things happen and we’ve all been busy. I haven’t even remembered to check online for a week or so.

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