NaNoWriMo – New event to channel emotions and stress into

November 2, 2016 by
Writing

So National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has started again. My first foray into this event happened two years ago. I had just lost my mom less than a month earlier and my wife had just left for vacation to be with her family for Thanksgiving, leaving me to dwell on my loss and other thoughts. On a spur of the moment decision, with less than three days before November, I decided to distract myself with attempting to successfully complete the NaNoWriMo challenge.

Surprisingly enough, as the month progressed, the emptiness and guilt I felt for not being with my mom when she passed was slowly shifted to the back of my awareness as I focused on trying to pants my way through writing 50,000 words in the space of a month. When all was said and done, I completed my goal of 'winning' the event, but what I really accomplished was being able to convert my pain and anger into something constructive, giving me a therapeutic outlet instead of falling into depression. Granted, it took an additional 30,000 words or so to create a finished novel, something that took me over a year and a half more to complete, but I can look at the fruits of that endeavor and realize I actually am, in fact, a real author.  Someone who actually earns a small bit of income from something I wrote once.

Last year I attempted to write the sequel to that book, but for one reason or another, the timing just wasn't right. By the end of November, I'd only written around 3,000 words and I haven't gotten much further in that project, but now that I'm starting to get some great reviews on my first book, I realize I need to get back to developing the 2nd book in the series.

Which brings me to this year's event. While not quite as tragic as losing my mom, this year hasn't been all that great either. Toward the beginning of the year, I wound up having to go on strike for nearly two months before our contract was worked out and we were able to return to work. Then I lost my beloved companion, a black and white sheltie named Lilly that had to be put to sleep due to constant UTIs and failing kidneys.

So now I have emotions and built up stress that I've had bottled up for nearly 3 months (my dog had to be put down less than a week before my birthday) ready to spill out into my writing again. I mentioned to my wife that it seems like every time I seriously start focusing on writing, something bad seems to happen, but I'm hoping that, by the end of this month, my mental space will be a clean slate and I'll have another novel ready to be revised. Here's hoping...

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