Firstly, I came to the startling realization that the last time I posted on this part of the website was the first day of November. While I've been delinquent across the board on the website lately (and painfully aware of it), this deficiency is particularly problematic.
Secondly, my husband and I are extremely excited about the upcoming arrival of our first child. We await July with eager anticipation.
This is not a post about that eager anticipation.
This post is about how once I began the full time task of growing a human, I became virtually incapable of using my brain for anything more than the most mundane tasks (in addition to all of the brain power I could/ can muster for the vital parts of my actual full time job).
Let's start with November.
Prior to November 1st, I had signed up for NaNoWriMo and set my goal. I am the kind of person who is fiercely driven to achieve goals, so this method works exceedingly well for me. (See my previous NaNoWriMo posts for more about how effective I believe that month to be.) I posted the word count updates on my blog by adding those cool little widgets that show the calendar and word count progress). I also told my class all about my plan and my progress.
November 1st arrived. I was ready. And also in the earliest stages of pregnancy (pre-positive test). I was feeling a little strange and queasy, but more so, I felt fiercely determined to succeed.
By November 15th, I was barely able to make it through the day at work, and the prospect of writing when I got home became increasingly slim. It was discouraging to say the least. I had never before felt so incapable of completing the simplest, smallest tasks. Add in a conference (that was awesome but utterly exhausting) and a week long visit from family (that was a blast but gave me a good excuse not to write), and suddenly I was spiraling toward the end of November with nothing close to 50,000 words.
Even when I did write, I was conscious of every word on the page. I felt as if there was a gigantic wall between the words that had always tumbled so freely around in my mind and the fingers desperately waiting (in vain) to type them onto the screen. I set aside time every day to work toward my NaNoWriMo goal, but much of that time was spent laboriously typing a few words at a time before exceedingly long halts in the progress.
The break from my blog initially came from devoting all of my "writing" time to my manuscript, but at 20,000 words, it became clear that I was spending far too much time hugging the toilet bowl and far too little time writing a story.
As I counted down to November 30th, I braced myself for the rather shocking reality that I would NOT meet my goal this year. I was devastated (but mostly too sick to care).
Then I told myself that I should extend it to two months instead of one. I had almost half of the word count, so the other half could come along in December. That plan helped assuage my conscience. But December was filled with countless obstacles--the most prevalent of which was the fact that between sickness and exhaustion, my work productivity had dropped so sharply that I spent any spare moments desperately trying to catch up on essays and other class-related tasks. My manuscript got put aside.
Here we are in February. The last day of February to be exact (which is what finally prompted me to post this after the ages that it sat in the draft folder).
My manuscript is out there, saved in the nebula of internet files that hold all of my documents... It's as a side item on a long list of side items--that is where this year's November manuscript remains.
I do feel discouraged in some ways--it's hard to cut back on things you're used to doing, and it has been especially hard to deal with my inability to write as easily and freely as I've always been able to do. However, I'm learning a little bit about letting go and accepting reality, which I'm sure will come in handy as we adjust our lives to the new addition in our family. I look forward to the day when new words come easily again.
"that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have..."
© K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All thoughts and ideas are the author's and do not represent any employer.