this NaNo has been really, really bad.

by - 11/28/2017




I've been trying to get better at being honest about things. Being honest with myself, too. Having perspective and all that good stuff. it sounds like a great idea when you're feeling good but when you actually need it you hate it more than anything. 

So, in the interest of being honest: this year's NaNoWriMo has been a bad one. 

It's not the novel. The novel itself is fantastic, it's fun, it's promising, it's not a bad story. I'm decently happy with the writing and I'm fond of the characters. It's a first draft, and I'm letting it be such; I don't have any illusions about it having to be good. It's not not having enough time (I'm better at time management than I used to be) or being way behind (I'm not) or even a lack of inspiration. (I know what I'm doing and it feels fairly successful.)

It's kind of sort of a little bit me.

Most years, NaNo is an exciting event. I'm in The Mood all month long. I'm churning out words. I'm a chronic over-achiever, so I take it as a point of pride to crank out as many words as possible and usually exceed the goal. The past few years I've been finished with the original 50k in half a month or less. This year, I'm not behind, and I'm going to finish for sure, but in my mind, this is what I would call a mediocre failure. 

Fun times with my brain, yeah?

Work has been good. Schoolwork has been good. I'm not anxious, I'm not overwhelmed by time management, none of the usual things that would sabotage me. No, I've got one of the depressive episodes that sometimes roll in, and this time, it picked a deeply inconvenient month to rear its head. (I don't know why I'm surprised. Missing people + new stuff + winter showing up is a deadly mixture.) Doing much of anything feels like moving through sludge. By the time I get home from work, I've used up all the motivation I had for the day and then some, and it's time to crash and watch Netflix until I go to sleep feeling unfulfilled. It's confusing and tiring and right now I'm sick so that doesn't help, either.

See? Trying to be honest about these things.

It didn't even feel like NaNo this month. It felt like any other month. The excitement was just...gone. None of the things I'd planned on doing really worked out the way I hoped they might. I'm sorry if this is turning into me venting about my life. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Like I said, I'm learning to be honest.

I'm learning to cope.

I'm learning not to beat myself up, to take what's happening, to take a deep breath. The fact of the matter is:

- I have enough time in my life
- not flying through one NaNoWriMo doesn't mean I'm less impressive or dedicated than anyone else
- sometimes brains do screwed-up things and you have to work your way through it
- you gotta keep going forward, man.

2017 is coming to a close soon. A new year is coming and I'm ready for it to be here already. Till then, though, I refuse to let my writing year be sabotaged. I'm not behind, I'm not losing endless amounts of time, I didn't just set myself back. I did what I could. I wrote words when I could. I'm still writing words. I'm going to write 50k and that's the goal, isn't it?

It's important to be honest when things don't go the way you want them to, and it's important to deal with those feelings. Right now, though, I'm working on the second part of all of this, which is that it's also important to keep going and to treat things where you can. So here is me, breathing and getting out and fighting my brains where I can and being kind where I can't and keeping on writing when I've got the energy and even sometimes when I don't. I'm where I am right now, and I'm acknowledging it, but hey, I'm not going to settle for it, so there.

It's probably all gonna be okay.

Now, after that whole downert thing -- tell me about your NaNo! How's it going? How are you feeling about the story? What's someting about it that you love? TALK.

- Aimee

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10 Comments

  1. thank you for this. I didn't even do NaNo this year because of pretty much the same reasons. so I feel you, Aimee, I really do. I woke up this morning missing writing though, so we'll see if I get back into it in December. kudos to you for still writing and fighting through the fog and being able to reach the goal! also, I'm in the middle of file 04 of Bright Eyes and it keeps getting better and better. ;)

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    1. Just wait until file 10 of Bright Eyes! I listened to it last night and it made my heart break a little because it was so relatable and honest.

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    2. gasp! incentive to listen faster! :D

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    3. *shoves you off to listen to the bright eyes*

      ;D

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  2. Thanks for being honest, Aimee. Sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to and learning to be okay with that is a real struggle.

    This is my first time doing NaNoWriMo and I'd say it's been pretty successful. My goal was only 30k and as of now I'm at about 21k, so I'm happy with it because like you've said before, I sat down and wrote words and isn't that all that really matters? So in my mind, I've won NaNoWriMo because I write some words.

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  3. Your honesty is amazing, thank you.

    And it's going to be okay. *hugs*

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  4. "Not flying through one NaNoWriMo doesn't meant I'm less impressive or dedicated than anyone else." <<< Aimee, I needed to hear this. Thank you. *sends the monkey gif-hug back at you*

    Your questions: NaNo has had its ups and downs for me too. I was crazy pumped the first two weeks, then I slacked off, and now I'm sprinting to the finish line (I won't actually make it to 50k, but I guess that's fine). My story isn't as horrible as I thought the first draft would be, but to say it still needs A LOT of work is a given - all first drafts need work. The thing I love about it is that I'm writing about things I really care about, even if I haven't found the answers yet. And of course, my characters…they're the best.


    k. : )

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  5. argh I appreciate this post so much, we need more honesty in the blogging world.

    the types of slumps where things are going wrong and you don't know why is the worst :( I'm so terribly sorry and I hope you figure everything out! *hugs* good for you for working through it! I think that's the part that really matters <3

    ~ noor

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  6. Hey, like you said, it's alright if not every NaNo is a blazing sucess. If your brain chooses a crappy time to malfunction, it chooses a crappy time to malfunction. I really admire your honesty! Also, still finishing NaNo in spite of a depressive episode is super impressive. Hope your December is much better and that you have a wonderful Christmas.
    (Sorry to be That Late Person™, finals are starting to happen and my life is in utter disarray)

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  7. Same same same. But y'know what?

    I'm still ridiculously proud of you.

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