Why is it that the first year where I have a perfectly valid excuse NOT to participate in NaNoWriMo (aka – a soon-to-be-1-yr-old child), I get all psyched and inspired?
Ok that’s not true, last year I had the excuse of having said baby due literally on the 1st of November. She ended up only coming on the 7th, but believe me when I say that being 9 1/2 months pregnant does not predispose the mind to creativity. It’s like you’re already too preoccupied with creating something else.
The year before that, I’d just started studying to become a kindergarten teacher (getting pregnant put a stop to that, thank god) and was overloaded with work.
The year before that, my cat died. I cried for a week and got very depressed with being unemployed after that.
The year before that… I had no particular excuse. I was living in France, in my own flat with the cat that died a year later, working as a nanny, in a long-distance relationship with my now-baby daddy (that made no sense, YEAH ENGLISH). I could have done it then. When was that? 2012? Shit.
But then, I wasn’t part of the whole NaNo community thing back then. That was the year I introduced my boyfriend to the concept of NaNoWriMo, and he, instead of just vaguely attempting the challenge on his own like me, decided to go out and find his local NaNoWriMo group, and they became friends, and now we’re thinking of moving in with some of them. That’s how awesome NaNoWriMo is, it brings antisocial introverts like us together so we can all be silently absorbed with our laptops of an evening without feeling lonely.
NaNoWriMo has changed my life, even though I’ve never actually completed the challenge. Never even gotten close. Every year it encourages me to attempt another novel, reminds me of how much I love writing, erodes at my perfectionism, colours my dreams. It reminds me that, even though I love doing other creative activities like playing music and singing, drawing, crochet – the thing I most love, that really makes me feel alive, is writing. Creating a world, characters, plot. It’s not that I always have these wonderful stories in my head and writing relieves the need to express them. The stories unravel as I write. Inspiration comes with writing. Most of the time, I have to consciously decide to write, and then the story begins to unravel in my head, like a cloud of colour against a fuzzy dark background of everyday things. It’s the most amazing feeling.
I feel like I’m at my best when I’m in that inspired state. And I want my daughter to see me at my best, so I guess that’s also a motivator. But mostly I just want some of that sweet, sweet inspiration back. Mmmm.