Running for my writing life

I did it. I jumped in. Which is why I haven’t been posting for a while. I mean NaNoWriMo, which is the National Novel Writing Month for which many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of crazed people with Obsessive Writing Disorder pledge to themselves to write 50,000 words on a new project in just one month. Of course tribute must also be paid to NaNo Rebels who bend the rules a little bit in terms of project (continuing with an already established project) or wordcount (adjusting the goal accordingly).

I jumped in. Mum of four less than double digited offspring, two who have already delightfully celebrated their birthdays in this auspicious month and just two days apart, the eldest, and youngest, my bookends.

For the first week of my novel writing challenge I kept to the obligatory 1667 word count faithfully. I chose, as my project a lighthearted domestic space chase, a fantasy in the parallel universes of Susan, the perfect mother and later a Housewife Warrier Princess. She is unceremoniously visited by her Fairly God Father who she renames Dave who takes her through time, space, and the freezer department in Tesco’s on a quest to keep her intact, as she is the disintegrating Housewife with a Half-Life stuck in a temporal loop. She must reintegrate pieces of herself that are stuck in parallel universes in order to survive.

Glad you asked? Aren’t you? Where Telepathy is the route telly’s take to keep fit and sentimental whisks save the day this fabulous story, surely is, for me, a distraction from my own everyday concerns. But one of my everyday concerns is now my wordcount. And I come to you today from the sorry position of being 5000 words behind (BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE.) (Especially me or I’ll panic).

Have you ever been in a situation where you are on a long walk, perhaps a hill walk over a few hours with friends. You realise early on that you are not as fit as they are and you begin to trail behind. You try to catch up but in the process you wear out and just as you reach them and are ready to catch your breath, they stand up and walk on again. Very dispiriting. That’s a little bit of what it feels like being behind. Luckily on Nano there are many people slipping behind, rallying, catching up, slipping back again. We encourage each other, we accompany each other, we keep going. There are many mothers that are taking on this challenge alongside the challenges that raising a family bring, as well as alongside their other endeavours. We will do what we can, we will move the goalposts if we really need to.

Taking up this seemingly impossible challenge (for the first time may I add) has been a very interesting and worthwhile experience for many reasons. These are some of the valuable things I’ve learned.

1: I can write without editing,

2: That its okay to get it all out and worry about it later

3: I am a writer

4: The more I write, the more I want to write

5: The more obstacles that come my way, the more I have become sure that this is what I want to do

6: That something I’m not sure about at the time sounds Really Good later

7: How to ignore the doubt demons

8: I can actually fit 1667 words into any mad kind of day.

I feel as if I am running, running, running both in my daily life and in my Nanowrimo quest (as is the woman in the story in her quest). I am running for my writing life because the more I do it, the more I know I want to. I am learning to writing without fear (jotting down my niggles in a seperate document and then writing anyway). I know now what is possible. I am going to take all that’s possible and run with it.

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