I started really strong on my NaNoWriMo project, this year. Day four hasn’t ended and I’m just over 15,000 words–more than a quarter of the way to completion!
Like I mentioned, the project I ended up working on this year is not the project I’d intended to work on. I originally planned to rewrite a novella I wrote back in July into a full-length novel.
Then in October I was diagnosed with PTSD and my plan changed. If you know my other blog From Adie, with Love, you probably know that I’ve always been very open about my struggles with mental illness. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in high school, I had an abusive childhood, I’m a sexual assault survivor… these things have affected me. I’ve never made any attempt to hide my discontent with my life.
After being diagnosed with the PTSD, though… I felt lost and confused and a little afraid. I had no idea what to do. I felt completely caged in by this diagnosis. Which, when I thought about it, honestly felt pretty par for the course. I’ve always felt trapped by my mental health struggles. And then something just kind of snapped inside me. I just suddenly got really, really sick of feeling so damn broken all the time.
I remembered a friend who’s partner wrote a book as a form of magic. They wanted a romantic partner and wrote a book (fiction) about finding that partner. They put their self into the main character and wrote about finding the type of partner they dreamed about finding. Then, they found that partner in my friend.
So, that’s what I decided to do. I decided to write about my life, but on my terms. I decided to write about how I want my life to unfold (realistically–no magic cures or recovery without effort) from here forward.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds. My hat is off to my friend’s partner, because writing about my life, how I want it to unfold, in a realistic way requires a level of self-awareness and introspection that I’ve never had to embrace before–that I might even say I actively avoided before. It’s draining to be so honest with myself, not only about what I want and whether or not it’s realistic (sorry, probably not going to win a billion dollar lottery), but with my own current shortcomings and flaws I need to work on to get there.
Writing the backstory was the easy part–that’s there, I can’t change it. But, writing about the change? Moving myself forward, even fictionally?
I’m praying for the strength.
P.S. The actual honest-to-God title of the book is “As Yet Untitled.” I’m still debating what the subtitle will be, if I include one.