This time last year, I took a break from Whisks & Words to do NaNoWriMo. Most people didn’t know it, but this time last year, I was also starting what would prove to be my final round of fertility treatments, one last roll of the dice. This time last year was when I conceived my son, was when I wrote 45,000 words of a new novel manuscript, and actually, was the last time I had a daily writing practice.
What a change a year brings.
I had lovely notions, this summer, that after I had Gus, I would wrap the child in a ring sling, or bounce him in his seat on my office floor, and do NaNoWriMo again. Splash back into the deep end of the pool. Write a novel! Why not? That was all before I actually had Gus, of course, before I knew how fuzzy my brain would become. (Exhibit A: I had a stack of notecards, like a sizeable one, in my hand fifteen minutes ago. I did not leave the room, and yet still, in my tiny office, I have mislaid a stack of notecards. I’m looking around, even now, and I cannot see them. I need Amanda to come home so she can be my eyes for me, at which point I’ll probably feel very silly because I know – I know – they’re right in front of me.) It was before I knew the unbridled glee I would feel when a character and a few snippets of dialogue played themselves out in my brain during my rushed shower.
NaNoWriMo. Good gracious. I have been bummed to admit it, but I can’t do it. Not this time.
But a friend and fellow mom posted to her blog, it’slittlebird, earlier today, and she inspired me. I may not be able to hold a train of thought for NaNoWriMo, but I could do NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month – again. It’s been years since I’ve done it. Maybe I could.
And then I spent several hours talking myself out of it. Do I really have time? Or energy? What if I miss days? That means I (gulp) fail. What if I fail? Maybe I should wait until next year. Maybe I should just take a nap. (That’s actually solid, people. I probably should take a nap.)
In the end, though, it comes to this: my long look back at this time last year. At my daily writing practice. At the fervor with which I tackled NaNoWriMo last year. Last week, in yoga, my instructor asked us to introduce ourselves, and our babies, and what we did for a living. I went first: I’m Dana, this is Gus. I’m a writer. It sounded flat when it came out, like I didn’t really believe it myself. I qualified it – I’m not writing much right now. Why did I do that? Because I’m afraid of looking like a fraud? Because I don’t want anyone to judge me harshly? Why would they?
The answer: because I do. I judge me harshly. That is one thing that is, unfortunately, constant, from one year to the next. I am my severest critic.
So after that long look back, I’m saying yes and looking forward. This time, this November, I’m blogging everyday. Because I miss my blog and my writing and that giddy feeling that comes with ideas and words. Because I’m a writer, I’m a writer, I’m a writer, and I have a crazy notion that blogging everyday this month will convince the only person who seems to doubt that: me.