Saturday, November 09, 2013

NaNo 2013 or how I learned to ignore my word count and love my novel

So I discovered something about myself and NaNoWriMo.

I did my first NaNo in 2009 and began then - and have continued each year - to work myself into a frenzy over word count.  It was a race, my mind insisted, and if I didn't do X amount of words a day I sucked! I was an epic failure!  I didn't deserve to write!  If a buddy of mine was writing over word count, that was a direct reflection on my own worthlessness.  I must write more!  I must catch up!

Now, recall that I have an anxiety disorder.

I'm obsessive, a hoarder, a chronic insomniac, compulsive, subject to rages, depression, and paranoia.  Pretty isn't it?

Now imagine my doing NaNoWriMo.

I came to dread November, yet I did NaNo every year.  I did not enjoy it.  It was another compulsion, a whip with which to lash myself.

Last year (our Year From Hell, if you have been keeping up), we opted not to do it at all.  Then came November 2013.  I have a husband, five kids under the age of 12, a farm, and I work two jobs outside the home.  WTF?  NaNoWriMo?


I couldn't not do it, due to my compulsive urges.  It's gotta happen.  I also started on day 2.  Neither my husband nor I got a word written on day one.  Cue disaster, right?

Not so.  I had a revelation.  See, the cool thing about my working outside my home now is that it keeps my broken brain occupied.  I can't spend so much time fretting, worrying, going over stuff over and over and over.  No time.

So I was working November 4th - a Monday - and had written maybe 600 words thus far.  I couldn't write until I got home and I was on my break and chewing over my novel in my mind and chewing, and chewing when I thought: "I'm really liking my novel this year.  Oh, hey, that's new.  Normally I'm hating my novel by now."

So when I got home and sat down to write I plunged in and it was still there, the delight.  Characters I never knew existed were pouring out onto the paper and getting up and walking and talking. Cool!

And so I thought "Fuck this shite.  Fuck word counts.  It's only day four.  I have plenty of time to get my words in.  I'm just gonna enjoy this."

And I have.  I couldn't care less how many words someone else writes.  Some people have is much easier than me, some people have no jobs to go to, or one kid who spends half his time in day care. Some people have it worse: school during the day plus a job at night, or a disabled partner or child who requires constant care.  Everyone's situation is different and we are all only responsible for our own word count.

In the meantime I'm enjoying the crap out of my 2013 NaNo and I hope you are enjoying yours too! :D

 No talk now. Writing. Funny t-shirt for writers doing nanowrimo

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:41 am   0 comments


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