“Decisions are made by those who show up.” — Aaron Sorkin
The upshot of of Wednesday was that we managed to come up with a solution that didn’t take a large amount of time away from my writing that evening. However, over the past could of days, we’ve had some talks about the incident. My writing has been put on the back burner a lot over the last year as we dealt with family problems and my mother-in-law’s declining health. When you’re in a situation where you’re living one crisis to another, it’s a little difficult to get yourself into any sort of routine. Part of the purpose of this year’s NaNo was trying to re-establish a routine. That hasn’t happened, due in part to my own health and also finding things picking at my schedule. Not surprisingly, this has caused some stress.
So late Thursday, after turkey and pie had been consumed, the husband asked an important question: Was I having fan this NaNo? I thought about that for a while and realized the answer was no.
Since I wasn’t having fun and it was clear I wasn’t going to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, the next question was whether or not to continue with NaNo, or to sit down and make a plan for moving forward that didn’t include killing myself just to make a word count. I gave the matter some serious thought and decided it was best to abandon NaNo and start planning.
I don’t suggest abandoning something lightly; it’s too easy to find yourself surrounded by never-finished projects (let’s not look in my knitting basket). But this was an instance where pushing forward was going to do more harm than good. I’m still going ahead with my plan to post inspirational quotes for these last days (giving up the blog is not an option), but I need to think about my characters, my story and what I’m actually doing with them. The creative well is emptier than I’d anticipated, and I need to spend some time and energy filling it up again. Today, I’m going to indulge myself with A Star is Born on Turner Classic Movies while working toward finishing my Aeolian Shawl. I’m going to let my mind just wander over my characters, think about why they’re doing what they’re doing, not just what they’re doing. I’m going to rest, which I haven’t been doing enough of recently, and try to get some of my strength back. Most of all, though, I’m going to try to be good to myself because I haven’t been doing enough of that lately either.
The thing about learning to walk away is making the choice and knowing when it’s time. Decisions are made by those who show up and sometimes they’re not easy decisions to make.