NaNoWriMo begins on Sunday. Are you taking this year’s challenge?
I’ve written lots of articles and posts about the actual writing side of the challenge, but never one on the mindset you need to make it through the 30 days.
You know my story. The one where I couldn’t write for close to ten years after my dad died. I guess I shouldn’t say couldn’t write because I was doing that, just not finishing stories. I’d start one project, then another new story, back to an old story, and then onto another new story.
It took me years to break the cycle and I thought my grief and loss had caused me to have the worst case of writer’s block.
All these years later and after teaching and tutoring writing students, I know that wasn’t what happened.
I suffered from a case of life.
Life happens to writers. Authors lose loved ones, the car breaks down, they break up with a significant other, get divorced, get sick, move house.
No one has immunity to life, not even bestselling authors.
If you wait for the perfect time to write a book, finish a book, then you’re going to wait forever. You’ve got the wrong mindset. You’re going to be at the end of your life with regrets about what you should have done if only life hadn’t gotten in the way.
Maybe being older, wisdom has set in and I realize that losing my dad was one of the first major upsets life threw at me. It was my training ground for more things that would be tossed my way. On the second life event, I was prepared and had a different mindset.
Something major or minor might rear its ugly head during NaNoWriMo or any day of the year. You might, like me, think I’ll get back to the story when I feel more like myself or things get back to normal.
It’s always going to be something so not matter what life throws at you, keep on writing. You might even find it helps you through the roughest of times.