This year, I did an anti-NaNoWriMo. Basically, I would resist the siren call of NaNoWriMo, evade the writing community pressure to participate, and concentrate on everything but writing.
Now that November is officially over-and-out, I thought I would recap how that went.
Week one, I was filled with the itch to jump in. Just ignore what I said and get writing. I wanted to participate, to be part of the updates, to be chasing the writing goals with everything, despite how I knew it wouldn’t work in my life right now.
I watched social media updates on my feed and felt sad that I couldn’t be part of it.
Week two, I was hunkering down in everything else I had to do. I was reading like it was air, just drinking in books to get me through. My brain flicked to creative mode and started to harvest ideas from the unique perspectives I was feeding it.
Week two, my brain was doing what I wanted it to do during this break. And it felt really really good.
Week three started with my wife going in labour. Suddenly, there was nothing else on my mind, at all. Considering the early labour phase lasted 74 hours and showed no signs of speeding up, all I had capacity for was information regarding keeping my wife alive.
At times, I wanted to do other things, because even my wife encouraged me to just take my mind off of what was going on, but I had no spare mental capacity.
November 18th, our daughter Ryan was born. That, too, was a blur of staying alive, staying fed and caffeinated, and wrangling all the questions we had for all the information we needed to keep this little human alive.
Week four started with being at home. The first few days were a blur of set alarms for feedings, multiple loads of laundry, panic shopping needs, and wrangling family. Then it was an unending parade of appointments and check-ups.
Now, it seems to have calmed down into a rhythm my wife and I can manage. And it’s still a blur of feedings, diapers, last-minute shopping, cleaning, meals from the freezer… You get the idea.
I did, at the very end of the month, submit a poem for publication consideration. Poems are not my strong suit but I wanted to give it a whirl.
Now, into December, I am slowly moving to stand on my feet and take a creative step again. I knew at the beginning of the month that I could not have managed NaNoWriMo (and, if I had tried to, I believe my wife would have threatened to kill me). Looking back, I for sure couldn’t have. But that doesn’t stop the ache of being unable to share the striving experience with my community of writers.