NaNoWriMo, no?


My writer friends have finally convinced me to try NaNoWriMo. I’ve resisted for years because I worry about the whole failure thing. It’s a big ask. 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s at least 1,600 words every day and if you fall behind, it would be incredibly hard to catch up. If I fail, what is that going to do to my motivation?

I’ve been struggling to write anything as it is. (See my last post for more info.) Right now I’m coasting in the clear crystal air of normal thought and feeling. It’s a fantastic feeling being out of the drowning water, but it also feels fragile, as if one small thing could break and send me back down. What if failing NaNoWriMo is what does it?

On the other hand, fear of failure is a stupid reason to not do something. I refuse to let depression and anxiety rule my life. And that means taking risks and doing stuff that might hurt.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not), I’ve rediscovered my motivation to write again–2,000+ words in the last 24 hours. I’ve rediscovered the desire to make writing a major focus of my life. NaNoWriMo seems to have arrived at the most opportune time to help get me into the swing of writing regularly. Whether or not I reach the 50,000-word target, getting into the habit of writing regularly is a massive win. Also, as one of my writing friends said, even if i just write 1,000 words over the whole month, that’s 1,000 more words than I had at the start–another win.

Additionally, I stumbled across a post about depression that really clicked with me and gave me a great way to think about this particular mental illness. Right at the end of the post Steven, the author, talks about how the really bad thoughts that you get when you’re depressed are not your personal thoughts but are actually more like symptoms of the illness.

Oh my god.

That is just the most useful piece of information about dealing with depression I’ve ever heard. Separating the symptom-thoughts of depression from the actual real me-thoughts in my head is going to be a hugely powerful tool in dealing with this illness. And I can use that tool if things don’t go perfectly in NaNoWriMo to get the most out of the experience.

So here’s to a month of winning and 50,000 words.

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