An Admission of Failure

Annoying, isn’t it, and frustrating, when just as you think you’re beginning to get a handle on things, beginning to get the hang of things again, something happens to derail you, and you’re left feeling like utter rubbish. A Failure.

I haven’t attempted NaNoWriMo since 2011. This year I felt ready, in the zone, itching to fling a constant stream of words at the screen. And I began, and it was enjoyable. The story is utterly ridiculous, but it’s growing out of an idea I’ve had in my head, and various notebooks for a while now. And having spent most of this year editing and redrafting stuff, rather than writing from scratch, it felt so bloody GOOD to be flying free again.

And then I was ill. Felled for the best part of three days by a sore throat and a headache I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I fell behind. Not just on NaNo, but on everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Just as I’d finally found that tenuous balance, all the spinning plates came crashing down. Because, you see, owing to circumstances of Life, I am now operating as a single mother. And that’s fine, and as it needs to be. But, if things aren’t done, they remain not done until I do them. There is no one to pick up the day to day slack. And now I’m back on my feet, but setting all those plates spinning again is… hard. I feel paralysed. All I want to do is sleep. After years of not sleeping at all well, now I’ve gone the other way. And there are all those things to be done, waiting for me. Something’s got to give. Preferably not me. Not again. So NaNoWriMo, adieu, for this year. I know it’s all there, my writing, waiting for me. But oh, the frustration. There’s nothing like kicking yourself when you’re down, to compound the knowledge that you’re useless.

 

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3 thoughts on “An Admission of Failure”

  1. NaNo is a huge ask, & any competing huge ask can derail it. Luckily you know this and have nailed the priorities. I know the single parent thing & the heavy responsibility and it seems you have the guts for it. Thankfully! The ‘useless’ demon knows where writers are and taunts us. Cd you set new writing targets? And review your achievements over the years? Including The Dilly? Good luck 🙂

  2. My nanowrimo plans were derailed by a virus too, and I am itching to get on with my novel, so your frustration is very familiar!

    I would never have written my first novel without nanowrimo, but I’m beginning to think I should give up on it now. Maybe I learned what I needed to, and its time has passed.

    Instead I’ve decided to be a bit gentler with myself, but also to prioritise my writing all the time. I’m not going to push myself to write every day, but I am aiming for something like five times a week. Nor am I going to set targets – but I am going to keep a record of new word count, and a word or two about anything I’ve revised.

    I know it’s too easy for me to forget what I have actually accomplished, so keeping a record will help. That’s the idea, anyway.

    Hang on in there 🙂

  3. These things happen to us all! It’s important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that as long as you have your health and, to some extent, your sanity, you can always resume life when you’re ready, and on your terms. Let your resilience shine and come out swinging!

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