It’s 7:30 AM local time here in North Carolina. The day is grey and rainy. A few days ago, we had weather from the hurricane (or was it a tropical storm by the time it reached NC?). I live far enough inland for all but the biggest hurricanes to not be a problem. Weather patterns are affected, but it’s usually just very windy and rainy. It’s nothing like being on the coast. My yard is littered with dead branches from the surrounding trees. One of the family vehicles almost had significant damage. Luckily, my family members had left two minutes before a 20-foot-plus tree branch dropped right where the front of the car had been.
Overall, it’s a very grey and wet start to this year’s NaNoWriMo. I often think about how writing should be on days like this. I imagine a nice warm fire, a beautiful slanted writing desk made of glowing mahogany, lovely mood music, and a nice hot cup of something warm. Maybe it’s a cup of hot tea or apple cider. Perhaps it’s hot chocolate with marshmallows. I imagine that instead of typing on a computer, I have a beautiful notebook and beautiful pens that let words flow out like magic. I imagine that I take breaks to curl up on an overstuffed couch with the warmest and softest blanket in the world and my cup of hot inspiration. I imagine that as I sip from my mug, I am surrounded by my dogs and cats and am staring into the fire dreaming up the next chapter of my first Best Seller.
Alas, none of this is to be. Instead, I am sitting in a cold kitchen shivering because I just ate far too large a bowl of empty calories in the form of Cap’N Crunch. The lighting sucks, I’ve got no notebook in sight, half of my dogs and cats are smartly cuddled in bed, and I have no idea what I’m writing for NaNo today. I never got around to properly fleshing out most of my characters. I managed to get most of a backstory on a secondary character, but my mains are now staring at me with pure looks of horror on their faces. We’re expected to tell our story now? they say. You didn’t even bother to properly name us, and now we’re supposed to know what’s going on? Are you insane? I may very well be.
You see, I have tried to get into NaNoWriMo every year since 2017. I almost got a decent start in 2018 with 9,000 words put into a new story, but then there was a sudden cross-country move. Last year, I tried as hard as I could. I really did. But, I suffer from mental health issues in the form of chronic depression. Last year around this time, I wasn’t safe around myself and was wallowing in the lowest pit of despair – the reasons why don’t matter now.
This year, I am trying to get into gear (yet again). This year, I am again trying to fight a depression that promises to be at least as bad as last year’s. It’s funny how sometimes the wanting of something isn’t enough to make it happen. It’s not that I don’t want to write. I love the ideas I have in my head. I can write all day long… in my head. Life just gets in the way. It could be that I don’t know how to translate my thoughts into proper words, or perhaps there is an argument going on in the household. I seem to find a way to let my mental health get into the dumps and fail to allow myself to succeed.
I’m not promising that I will get through a week of NaNo this year. I’m not even promising that I’ll manage two days. But I will continue to try even knowing that I will probably fail again this year. I’ll probably try again next year. I think that willingness to fail is a sign that succeeding will bring something much more valuable than not doing it at all. It’s that promise of more that makes us all take risks, isn’t it?
Number of words written so far: 0
Today’s writing goal: Anything over 1
Today’s mood: Sad, but slightly hopeful
Today’s inspiration: There’s always time for a new beginning. There’s always time to get up again after failing. Most importantly, all you have to do is start typing and you’ve accomplished something.