I lost NaNoWrimo this year.
I got about 26,000 words written and that in itself was a fricking miracle.
I lost NaNoWrimo this year.
I got about 26,000 words written and that in itself was a fricking miracle.
23,867 words on November 27. I think it’s safe to say that I will not be winning NaNo this year. But I am going to finish. I have written every day. I do have a viable project that I can continue to work on in tiny bites over the next howeverlongittakes.
It’s a time-travelling lesbian romance and it’s delighting the crap out of me so… yeah, I’m gonna keep working on it. In my own time. Because that’s what it means to be a hobby novelist.
A snippet, if you will:
“You’re weird. I like that,” Jillary laughed. It was only to mask a sinking sensation one gets when the mysteries of the universe interrupt the course of everyday banality, like when you witness a car accident or hear of someone close to you dying unexpectedly.
“Yeah, but I’m serious. I saw you and me right here on the couch. You unzipped my fly and I asked you to stop. I saw it just exactly like it happened.”
“Mmhm,” Jillary said skeptically. She forced a smile, assuming that that feeling had everything to do with discovering the she and her new companion may not, in fact, be living on the same level of reality. “What happened after that?”
“Uh… nothing. Then I was back here and you were over… there somewhere,” she said pointing toward the bedroom. “And now we’re here, I guess.”
“Mmm, adorable. So I think it’s time to go to the ER.”
Happy NaNo, writer friends. May you all be content with what you’ve produced this year regardless of the outcome!
I had a student today–in the physically-oriented after school-type activity I teach–give, as an example of resolve, this (paraphrased) answer:
“You have to decide that you keep wanting to do something even when it’s hard or like, when you’re writing a story and you get writer’s block, you have to keep going. You can’t just stop because it’s hard because you decided to wanted to do this so you just gotta do it.”
“My friend,” I said, “are you a writer?”
“No!” he responded. “No, not really. I mean, I’m sorta writing a book. I’m trying to. But I’m not like… a real writer.”
“HOLD UP!” I said, “If you write and you take it seriously, you are a writer. If you are resolved to write a book and you are fighting through writer’s block, you are a writer. You don’t have to a successful author to be a writer. You don’t have to make money off of your writing. You don’t even have to be an adult [fyi: this is a teen]. And you don’t have to wait for me or anyone else to tell you what you are. If you write, you’re a writer if that’s what you want to be. Own it. Name it. Be it!”
Friends who follow this blog, especially those struggling through NaNo like I am, don’t read those goddamn memes on Twitter about what makes you a real writer. No such thing. If you write, you’re a writer if that’s what you want to be.
I haven’t had a single day since the first two of the month where I met my word count. I’m pretty significantly behind. BUT, I’ve been writing every day and that feels pretty good.
This isn’t just my annual declaration that I’m probably going to lose to mitigate the disappointment I feel in case I do before pulling off some amazing feat of overnight writing late in the game that puts me over the top. This is me accepting that my life is too busy right now to dedicate the full amount of attention and energy needed to accomplish 50,000 words.
I AM going to lose NaNoWriMo this year and this is my attempt to make myself accept that. I am participating. I am writing every day. I’m working on a WIP I like and want to tell. And that’s the best it’s going to get this year.
AND THAT’S OK.
I’ve got it.
I’ve got an idea. I’ve taken some notes. I put the project into the NaNo website and I am READY TO GO.
Happy NaNo Eve, friends!!
Forgive me, Internet, for I have sinned. It’s been 19 days since my last post.
It’s just that I’ve been in work hell this whole time, battling my inner demons and their outer demons and the angel on my shoulder, it turns out, was just blowing smoke up my ass so I wouldn’t give up and leave her there by herself. It’s been more than your average amount of adjustment to a new job. Some day I’ll write a book about it.
But not today.
TODAY, I am here to declare: I am going to sort of try to maybe do NaNoWriMo this year. I’m not hopeful–as I say every year because every year is a fresh hell of scheduling insanity and massive teetering piles of responsibility–but I’m going to TRY. And if I fail, well then at least I will have written something which is more than I can say for the past… ohhh… so many months I can’t even count.
I am missing the process of writing. I am missing the community of writers. I’m missing the part of my soul that isn’t daily tortured by bureaucracy and inept coworkers.
Friends, I am ready to WRITE!
P.S. I’m pantsing so hard this year that I have… no… starting point for this year’s project.
It has been 23 days since I posted, thank you WordPress for the reminder. But not only do I not have a lot to say, I DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO SAY IT.
I haven’t given up on writing so much as I prioritized sleeping, eating, and going to the bathroom. And sure, I hear you saying, “Eda, if you were really dedicated to your writing, you’d be racking up the word count typing on your phone with your thumbs while you pooped,” but that time is RESERVED… for 5 minute Spanish lessons on my phone. And I don’t actually sleep; I nurse. And I don’t actually eat; I inhale while I work. And actually, everything kind of sucks since I got my new day job and whole big chunks of my life are falling apart.
I recently had something to say to a relative about the concept of “making time”. I have to “make time” for myself, she says. It always seems like there isn’t enough, so you’ve gotta MAKE IT.
Bitch, no. You cannot MAKE time. You can reprioritize. You can delegate. You can quit your shitty day job. But there are consequences, you see. Not for her. Not for any of the people who give me the unsolicited advice about time management (to whom, I repeat, I do Spanish lessons in five minute increments on my phone while I poop TO FREAKING RELAX. I know how to manage time).
You know what I really need? One freaking job that pays ALL the bills. Affordable health care. Affordable childcare. Everyone I work with to do their own jobs. My husband to do his. My parents and in-laws to do theirs. If everyone else–all those jackholes telling ME to manage MY time better–could spend a little bit of their time doing anything useful, then maybe MAYBE I could just… freaking… sit there and poop.
So no, my postpartum book didn’t do well commercially (see my last post, 23 days ago) but maaaan, if I’m gonna go down the memoir road again, do I got stories. Funny, insane, heartbreaking stories. I’ll call it Chicken Soup for the Anus, subtitle: We’re All Full of Shit.
Be forewarned, I’m going totally Poor Me, Alexander and the Very Bad (whatever whatever) Day on ya’ll right now and if you’re not interested, back away slowly before it drags you down with it.
Also, please read this in your whiniest four-year-old on his sister’s birthday not getting enough attention voice:
Well I TRIED but nobody wants to read a first-person narrative about a woman suffering from postpartum depression even if it’s super funny in parts because really, it’s super annoying in other parts and now is not the best time for a true story about mental health because EVERYONE’S doing their true story of mental health and mine isn’t, by comparison, all that revolutionary or different or interesting or remarkable.
And I TRIED to put my real realness out into the world as an expression of my most authentic inner self but there are so many other people doing the same thing–or some less authentic but in an Instagram aesthetic kind of way that people are drawn to–and my story just isn’t as COMPELLING as other people’s and I don’t wear floppy hats on beaches or really have any kind of photography/photo manipulation skills, at least not good enough to catch anyone’s attention so my book doesn’t even LOOK as good as something that’s less authentic but aesthetically more pleasing so no one wants to read it.
And my BEST FRIEND read it and hates it because it reminds her of all the ways my husband failed me both then and before then and in many ways since then so she doesn’t feel like she can review it in an objective way and I don’t blame her at all because editing it made me super cranky with my husband as well because for real, like I so didn’t deserve to be treated like that ever but really, it’s my whole life experience to be treated like I’m either kind of invisible or a total burden on the people who love me who have to try REAL HARD to love me despite all of my big emotions and penchant for thinking of myself as a person who deserves to be loved by my family so I guess my inability to even GIVE AWAY my book is just like every other time I’ve been ignored for just trying to be myself and live in the world and I shouldn’t even be disappointed so much as relieved that my world view doesn’t need to change.
And I’m definitely feeling totally DISCOURAGED about writing and about putting my true self out there and I’m back to thinking that if I ever want to make any money as I writer, I’ve gotta write erotica or at least romance and while I’m ok with either, it just kinda sucks that I can’t just write what I feel like writing and get anyone to read it.
And I might as well just move to Austraaaaalia.
Ok, I’m done. I’m ok. I’m not completely discouraged and I will keep writing and I WILL maintain some perspective but yeah, I was disappointed with the reception of this book but it wasn’t for everybody–as I as a person am not–and that shouldn’t be a surprise nor a obstacle to further attempts to get my writing out into the world.
But sometimes, you just have to pout and whine and threaten to move to Australia.
Originally planned for August 30, I’ve moved up the release date of my new book, Fully Functioning, to…. TOMORROW!
So if you’re one of the one people who pre-ordered (just kidding, there’s at least two people), it’ll be available for you tomorrow. If you didn’t pre-order yet, then… well, time’s running out, friendos. What are you waiting for? The free promo period?
Yeah, I don’t blame you. I like free books too. But you know what else I like? Bar graphs that aren’t empty and my KDP sales graphs are pretty sad right now.
So I’m gonna “The Critic”* people for … at least a few more days.
Fully Functioning by Eda J. Vor available on Amazon.com
I survived postpartum depression by mainlining Riverdale fanfic. Let me show you how!
I’m having this problem–and I know I’m not the only one–whereby most of the people in my life keep blowing off my poor mental health because I’m not quivering in a corner somewhere mumbling obscenities and drooling onto my bathrobe. And I’m not exactly whispering subtle cries for help into the wind in the dead of night when only the owls can hear me. I’m saying to a therapist, “I’m not ok and I need help.”
And he says back, “Can you get out of bed each day? Are you able to wash and dress yourself? Have you been going to work? Feeding your children? Engaging in pastimes that you enjoy?” Yes, thank you. I am fully functional as a member of society and fulfilling all of my expectations. But I’m not…. ok.
“Well, do you hear voices? Do you see things that aren’t there? Have you prepared a thorough implementation plan for a suicide attempt with a bulleted list of who’s to blame and a PowerPoint presentation that’ll help your next of kin produce a limited series on Netflix based on your true story?” No, I’m not batshit, I just need a little help.
“Have you tried dunking your face into an ice bath to stop your breathing and reset your brain?”
My God, NO! No, thank you!
“Do you engage in recreational drug use to self-soothe?”
“Do have a glass of wine or two at the end of the night or the middle of the day to take the edge off?”
No, what the hell? Are these your solutions? Are these the only solutions to being overworked and overtired and anxious and depressed and feeling like the world is a garbage bin collapsing in on itself?!
Obviously, I left that therapist. I changed jobs. I changed schedules. I implemented rules and strategies to organize at home. But I’m still… so tired. Soul tired. Mentally fatigued. Just so… so done.
There has got to be something better than wine and drugs and useless therapy and empty promises.
Maybe that’s why I write.
But I have to say, it’s pretty depressing that so little has changed since I starting writing this book two years ago. Releasing it now is just a reminder of how much further I need to go.
This book is about the slow realization that there was something wrong with my brain, how easy it was for everyone to ignore that, and finding a vice/self-medicating/self-soothing method that didn’t do any actual damage to my brain or body or children.
This book is also about using stories to become more self-aware, how we can find ourselves in fictional characters and use their emotions to discover our own.
This book is about marriage, how children can change a marriage, finding the faults in marriage and refusing to accept them.
This book is about postpartum life, infant hell, motherhood, and how society fails to take care of mothers.
This book is about addiction, how it doesn’t have to be about physical dependence, how the root is trauma, the whole thing about “gateways” being mental issues not dealt with.
This book is about self-actualization, understanding patterns of thought or behavior that don’t serve the health of the individual, the roots of those patterns, how one can discover their existence, and the decision to change them.
So the good news is that I have plenty of material for at least two sequels.
High Functioning Mental Health Disorders on MentalHeathCenter.org
What it’s like to have a high-functioning mental health disorder by Mandy Frankel on TheMighty.com
What are the signs and symptoms of high functioning depression on BridgesToRecovery.com
Some people are high-functioning, but that doesn’t invalidate their mental health on Time-To-Change.org.uk