ROW80 Check-in November 6

As I announced on Sunday, I joined NaNo this year.  So far, I am finding it a fascinating experience. Two things have happened that I did not expect. My word count has gone up steadily from Day One.  Yes, I know that 5 data points mean nothing, but I take comfort in the fact that the NaNo widget told me I would finish on February 1st on Day One,  but told me today I would finish on January 30th.

However, far more exciting is my attitude.  For several reasons, I was unable to write first thing this morning.  I felt disappointed, but resigned, thinking that today might be the first day off, since I was so exhausted after the day job yesterday.  To my surprise and delight, the words burned in my gut all morning, through committee meetings and space planning, until I got them out on the screen. I have not felt like this in years, and it is so very welcome.

Working through the emotions of the writing is difficult but liberating.  I used to say in therapy years ago that the truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable.  I find myself remembering things that happened, thinking at the time that things were the same in other families and houses down the block and across the street.  It is when I look from the vantage point of being a parent myself that the sense of wrongness, of difference, is overwhelming.

I’m slightly under the weather this morning, so this will be a short report. I should make up for it at the next check-in.If you have a free moment, please go visit the other ROWers, whom you can find here.


ROW80 Check-in November 3

I actually joined NaNo (or for any non-writers in the audience, the National Novel Writing Month) this year, at the last moment, after avoiding it like the plague for years.  I am writing at miserable rates for NaNo, which chides me, telling me how long it will take me to reach 50,000 words–I believe I’m up to February 1st at the moment.  However, it is still a lot for me–at least 500 words a day, which is twice my usual. I’ll take 50,000 words by February, and happily.

I want to entrench the habit of writing everyday. I know that no habit works for everyone, but writing every day first thing works best for me. It’s a struggle to get up early to write before the day job, so I’m glad to have had the last few days of convalescence to practice.

I am a NaNo rebel.  Despite my having several fiction plots in the wings, October bent me toward memoir. The writing is difficult, due to reliving a painful childhood.  I was not beaten or physically abused, but I was often hungry and neglected to the point of coming to the attention of teachers and neighbors. I want to understand what happened so that I can counter the effects it had on me.

In addition to the reasons I mentioned in last Wednesday’s check-in, I have avoided NaNo because I suffer immeasurably from word count envy; I repeat constantly the mantra, “I am not trying to win, but to establish a habit.”

Although I do have a day job I enjoy, I am not entirely looking forward to going back tomorrow.  I tire very easily; I only have one working arm; and I cower at the thought of what will be piled on my desk when I arrive *shudder*. I know that I will slip far too easily back into the Type A personality that is not good for my recovery. I suppose it will be a good lesson in not taking on too much. 🙂

So, I’m writing, very slowly, but writing.  I am replying to comments; I am working on beta readings, as well as continuing some pleasure reading.

How are all of you doing this fine November day?  It is crisp in upstate NY, and going to get close to freezing by morning.  Brrr!  If you have a free moment, please go visit the other ROWers, whom you can find here.