So I’ve been doing NanoWriMo this year. This in itself is nothing new, I’ve done NanoWriMo every year for the past nine years. What is new is that this year I’m doing it with the solid goal of winning in mind. This year it really matters. I’m working out if I want to still be a writer and if that’s genuinely what’s been keeping me down lately.
What I’ve discovered is that, in making myself write every day, I can still write and I still take pleasure in writing. I made the decision to lead up to nano by writing a daily journal entry in 750words.com for a few days beforehand. I think this helped me a lot in establishing a routine to follow. I wake up, I get on my writing computer, and I write. My reward after is normally breakfast.
Also, yes, I have a dedicated writing computer now. It has actually been sitting on its own table in the corner of my kitchen for months now, but has barely been used until now. I have my mechanical keyboard connected up to it and rely on its touchscreen for mouse duty, which is really finicky and a bit annoying to use. This actually works in my favour as I’m forced to concentrate on writing rather than other things that might distract me.
Right now I’m on day five of nano and I’m actually still on track. This is better than I’ve managed the last few years I’ve attempted Nano. It’s better than I’ve managed in terms of my writing in the last few years full stop. I initially tried blaming this on the fact I was so busy editing my ‘Cat’s Guide To Being A Hero’ book, and then on the fact I was on medication. I blamed it on my self-worth plummeting (well, my perception of it) after my manuscript was rejected by the editor who requested it. I think all of those things did contribute, but they weren’t the real reason. Now I realise I genuinely could have written myself out of my dilemma. I was out of practice.
Today I got all my words for Nano done right after I woke up and now I have a feeling I haven’t felt in a very long time: I feel like the day ahead of me is truly free to do as I wish. I’ve had the cloud of ‘I should write’ hanging over me for so long that now that I’m actually writing, a great weight has been lifted off of me.
Of course, my writing isn’t quite up to the standard that it was years ago when I was knocking out writing constantly, whether through nano or writing workshops, but it’s getting better. My story isn’t really planned but it’s getting better. I have the idea for a story formulating now and as the days go by that will only get better too. Next week is ‘hell week’ for Nano and it will be hard but it will also be exciting. I feel like I can be a writer again. I feel once again like I’ve always BEEN a writer, that this is my true vocation. I feel good.