You never know what you are capable of until you try.
For me, last November (2012) was the turning point; it was life or death. Maybe not in the literal sense of the word, because I wasn't dangling precariously off a cliff, or being threatened by gun point to finish my novel. No, it was my mind.
For the last few years I've struggled with my writing, trying to force my work in a burst of excitement and then realizing, once the excitement was gone, that nothing was working. My work was the worst, steaming pile of poo you could imagine. At least, in my eyes. So I would quit writing for a while, and come back with a fresh, new story.
And the vicious cycle continued.
It's not that my work is atrocious, or that I expect my writing to move me the second it's on the page. It's procrastination. My inner editor I could soothe, but I never had a way to tame the procrastination beast. I always told myself I'd do it tomorrow.
Those little bursts of inspiration were quick to pop like little bubbles on a nice, sunny day. But it didn't just stop at writing, did it? It leaked into my brain, and caused me to go: "Oh, dishes? I'll do those tomorrow.", "My kid needs to learn to read, but I'll help her tomorrow." little by little I became content to just let everything go. I didn't want to let on how my own depression lead to so much procrastination; how I was so content to just lie there on the couch staring at a blank screen with barely a word written. I told everyone I was working on my novel when I truly had no idea what to write down.
You see, even at 26-years-old you can find yourself in a crisis. Losing both a brother to acute lung failure, as well as an unborn son within a year can cause a person to lose grasp on reality, stuck in a world of: "Who am I?" -- you realize how precious and short life is, and when things don't live up to the fantasy you had for your life it's hard to know who you are. I had so many fantasies for my life and how it would be, and yet...it seemed as though, at the time, none of them had come true. It wasn't until, with the help of my husband, I pulled myself out of my head and realized that one had come true so far: I was a mother, just as I had hoped to be. Surely if I could raise a child, I could do other things? I'm not even out of my twenties, I still have time!
So what did I want to do? What dream seemed the most attainable? I suppose writing a first draft, from start to finish, did. So in November, a month I knew would bring too many emotions to the surface as my due-date-that-never-was loomed closer, I signed up yet again for NaNoWriMo. Oh, I had "won" in the past in one form or another, but I had never finished a rough draft in the same month. So I was determined, and three weeks into November I hit 50k. Then on November 25th, five whole days before the end of NaNoWriMo, I finished my rough draft of Bloodstream.
Was it amazing work? No. Did it move me in an unexpected way? I think not, but did it help me in more ways than one to see that I could accomplish things I had set my mind to? You bet!
And best of all, that month, I tackled the procrastination beast. The months that followed, I tackled my depression head on (I still have ups and downs, but it has become so much easier now). Slowly but surely, I've pulled myself up and told myself that I'm worthy of being called a writer, and I'm worthy of being a part of this world. Every day I wake up, I choose to be happy with what I have now.
And you know what? Procrastination be damned, I've begun writing more and figuring out, little by little, how to edit my novel so I can share it with others.
This is will be my sixth year doing NaNoWriMo. I've won a total of three times, one of those as a rebel. 2012 was the best year yet for me, and I hope that 2013 will be even better!
- Sardis, MS
- Photography, coupon clipping, collecting notebooks, trading/bargain shopping, reading, graphics design, and being mother/teacher to my daughter.
- Favorite noveling music:
- Depends on the mood.
- Favorite books or authors:
- His Dark Materials series, Harry Potter series, Stephanie Plum series, and True Blood series., Phillip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich.