So November 2015, I attempted NANOWRIMO for the first time. For those who have never heard of this, it’s national novel writing month, and the challenge is to write 50,000 words in a month. I’m proud to say that that year, I won! I started writing a novel that I dreamt up a while before, and had planned in detail but not attempted. It had literally been a dream I’d had, and I’d told my mum and she’d said ‘you should write that’, so I gave it a go! The timing was great as the first week I was on night shifts, so I spent every night for seven nights writing for nearly twelve hours each shift, and then had a week off after where I carried on. It was amazing! When I won, I felt like I’d made the first step of fulfilling a dream I’d always had.
However, a few months on my mum died, and as the main theme of my book involves suicide, and I associated the project so closely with my mum, I stopped writing. I tried to pick it up a few more times, kept doing a couple of thousand more words, then giving up. I didn’t have the energy, really. But it’s a project I adored doing, and I love writing- I’ve written since I was a kid, and I presented poems as Christmas presents and sat writing detailed stories for everyone in the family. It was my ‘talent’ at school, but I never continued with it, and it’s always been a regret of mine.
I have a secret hope- id love to be published. No matter how small, I would see it as a dream come true. I tried again NANOWRIMO 2016, but only managed a measly 6,000 words, and eventually gave up. I had no drive. So yesterday, on one of my last precious days of annual leave, I finally sorted the spare room/study, procrastinated enough to make the room a haven of tranquility, spent time making a vital writing playlist, and eventually sat down to write. And struggled. So as distraction I picked up a new graphic novel I’d bought at the weekend- ‘Are you my mother?‘ By Alison Bechdel. An amazing book, hitting so close to home it made my heart hurt. And it turns out it was all I needed to push me back to that word document and keep going. I’ve started the project up again, and I feel more positive this time around.
I hope I can keep it up!!