I see snow outside my window. In theory, I love snow. Soft. White. Umm… that’s about it. But in truth, I really hate it. Shoveling it, snowblowing it, driving through it, salting it, slipping on it, falling face-first into it.
I dislike it even more when it interferes with my plans. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I am participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m actually doing really well, but the last few days it’s become like pulling teeth without any anesthetic. (Let’s be honest, any dental work with anesthetic is a cake walk.) 1667 words a month is the daily minimum, barring any days with extreme spurts of creativity. I always aim for a bit more. Last year I had a problem with creativity, and I barely made it. Pretty much reached about 51k with ten or so minutes left. That was exhilarating and stressful and a little shameful. How did I have so little to write about?
I don’t think that was the problem, but it feels like it sometimes when we find ourselves unable to write anything. This past week, I’ve started to question my love for writing. It’s become like a chore, and I guess that’s part of the nature of NaNo. It asks us to obligate ourselves to write a certain amount everyday. Like exercise, maybe, and when you’re not feeling it, to continue is to put yourself through hell for the sake of… I don’t know, principle.
It would be an extreme tragedy, imho, if NaNo converted my love for writing into hate. I think it’s unlikely, but it’s been a really long time since I found the process this distasteful. Maybe it’s the residual irritation over not finishing work with my previous novel while starting this new one. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to worry again about my chances for success. (Yes, I know I still should try. That’s not the point.) Or maybe it’s because of winter.
Some of you may have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a pleasant (sarcasm) little life event that swings around in the colder season. The sun comes out less, and the body takes a hit. Gloom is doom and all that, after all. When you’re already suffering from depression or bi-polar disorder, S.A.D. is a lovely (sarcasm, again) complementary effect that makes things ten times worse. (My insurance company isn’t making things any easier. They just told me they’ve decided not to cover my trips to the therapist! Yay.) So currently prescription medication is out of the question, but I have been exploring OTC options. Good old St. John’s Wort and something called SAMe. And Vitamin D-3 and some other crap just for balance. 🙂 It’s alright, though I suspect the real benefit is in the placebo effect.
Well, as my eternally-optimistic work buddy likes to say, it could be worse. Yes, friends, it could always be worse. Which really makes none of it better. It does, in fact, aspire to make you feel guilty about feeling terrible in the first place. I don’t like that, I don’t really agree, so I don’t listen to her about much anymore. (This is the same friend who doesn’t believe in depression.)
The good news is I’m still writing. I may loathe it but I’m getting it done, day by day. I’m even going to take full advantage of all the perks winning NaNo comes with. A few free prints, discount on software… some other things, I can’t remember right now. And another month of extreme productivity.
To those of you in the same boat as me (the SAD boat or the NaNo boat), good luck. Keep the faith. Stay strong, and a hundred other platitudes about not giving up.