NaNoWriMo….WTF? What have I decided to do? Why did I put this on my plate for the month of November leading into the holiday season. Did I think I’d have nothing better to do than sit around and write an NOVEL (approximate 50,000 words or almost 1,700 words a day) in the course of the month. Because I’ve been so good about doing my creative pursuits that I thought it would be a brilliant idea to add another one….this all makes complete sense. If I could just do the biggest facepalm right now I would. Why on earth have I done something like this to myself? Why am I taking this on?
For anyone not in the “know” NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Over the course of the years (I guess since 1999) a few of my friends have posted about (by the way, up until this parenthetical addition that was 146 words….facepalm!) it and now I’m attempting to write a novel in the course of the month (November 1-30). I have always thought it was a nifty idea but never really thought I’d actually be able to do it. I have always loved writing but this seems like it’s way out of my league and it is a completely asinine undertaking given the stage of life I’m at but lo and behold here I am participating in NaNoWriMo attempting to accomplish something in my life when it comes to writing. I am really hoping that this is more like a boot camp of sorts for my writing and I can get some of those juices flowing again. I used to have so many ideas, such a fantastical imagination but then I became an adult. My logic circuits are in overdrive and my creative circuits have atrophied and crumbled due to lack of use.
I have decided that I’m just going to write stream of consciousness, almost journal style and see what happens. I didn’t even have a “novel” in mind when I decided to sign up for this on a whim last week. I did not have any characters, plot, setting, or anything like that in mind but I figure the best advice is supposedly “write what you know” so here I am writing what I know….basically whatever happens to be in my own head when I sit down to write. Of course I have dreams of someday being a published author who gets paid to write but as of right (haha) now my work isn’t consistent enough to warrant a pay check from anyone, sometimes I’m not even sure it warrants the time it takes away from myself, but when I think about something I’ve always loved to do, write was it.
I used to dream of writing, for a while it was a like Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex in the City” as a newspaper columnist, sometimes it was as a travel writer so I could get paid to go see interesting things in the world, and at the very beginning it was like Angela Fletcher because we all know the awesome-ness of “Murder She Wrote.” And if you don’t, you really should! But somewhere along the way that dream got lost and I became an adult with a “normal” job doing “normal” things in a pretty suburban, quintessential life.
Sometimes I feel that I should want more out of my life than being a 37 year old mom, wife, teacher like somehow I’m not really “living” because some days I’m just going through the motions and following the routine of the day. We don’t have an adventurous life, no matter how many times I try to convince my daughter that going to grocery store/supermarket is an “adventure”….can’t wait until she starts therapy and I get the bill because I told her things like “want to go with Mommy on an adventure? To Target?!?!” and she’s learned that isn’t really an adventure; it was just my way of tricking her to get in the car.
And some days I look at my daughter and realize she doesn’t need a “bigger” life, she needs a mom (and dad) who are healthy, happy, show her love, and sometimes play princesses or paint with her. She needs me to be someone in her life that creates some stability and connection not someone who’s always trying to “keep up with the Jones” or always on the lookout for the next great thing. While I still want my daughter to have experiences I want her to also see that her mother has experiences, that I want to do things for myself and that I’m willing to take the time to do them. I want my daughter to understand she is my world but she isn’t always the center of my universe (the same with her father) because I am the center of my universe just as she is the center of her universe and everyone should be the center of their own universe. Not to the detriment or harm of anyone else but it is not her job to make anyone happy except herself and that includes her parents.