Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

  1. I could be eating something pumpkin-flavored instead.
  2. I could finish watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Miss Hammurabi, Game of Thrones (I might still be on season one), or find a new nature or travel documentary.
  3. I could deep clean my house, or at least go through the clutter, or at least give it a surface clean, or at least straighten things up…
  4. I could learn to knit?

Okay, silliness aside, my life right now is about removing as much stress as possible in every aspect of my existence, so while NaNoWriMo is typically fun stress it’s still stressful and so this year it’s out of the plan.

If you’re participating, know that I’m cheering hard for you. I love this month. It introduced me to some of my best friends. It is a once-a-year guaranteed source of creative encouragement. No matter what you accomplish this month, if it lights a fire under you and helps you chase your creative dreams you should count it as a success.

I’m tracking my accomplishments this month just for fun, but there is no end-goal in mind. I’ll share what I managed at the end of the month though, in the spirit of NaNo. I honestly have no idea how much or how little it may be, but I’m doing my best to be happy with whatever the result. Rather than pushing myself to achieve a certain amount of work, I’m just doing my best to be aware of creative impulses and using time where I can.

Mind fog and fatigue are two mean bitches. I’ve been fighting both pretty hard in the last several months as I deal with whatever flare or new problem my autoimmune issues are currently serving me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely grateful that pain and muscle issues have taken a backseat this time around, but mind fog and fatigue make it extremely difficult to function. It’s so much more than just being “sleepy”.

Imagine getting up in the morning, feeling pretty good and ready to take on the day, and only an hour or two later ready to pass out again. And when life tells you that you’re at work or driving or running errands or doing anything at all that prevents you from sleeping, a dense fog slides in over your consciousness and everything goes fuzzy. Your vision is fine, but your comprehension skills are shot. No matter how creative you are feeling or much you want to sit and write or read or draw in this condition… it’s close to impossible. And those times where you can lay down and get more sleep? Well, you’re sleeping, so obviously you aren’t doing any writing or reading or drawing then either. You’re either unconscious or staring through mental pea soup. Forget creating, it’s not even that conducive to doing dishes or laundry.

So add that mental mess to an extreme amount of family drama and upset that has been ongoing for over a year now and…. yeah, I’m trying to stay as low stress as possible. My health requires it. Have any tips for me?

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