NaNoWriMo – A Reflection on Writing

November has been a whirlwind, and we are only ten days in. I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), so that has kept me occupied beyond belief.

The election consumed several days from me. I will not discuss political opinions here, as that isn’t what I created this page for. Instead, I just want to say a few words about how it affected my ability to write. For several days, including election day, I was unable to write creatively. I seemed to have hit a wall that wouldn’t allow creative thoughts to flow. Perhaps it was the uncertainty of our country’s future that affected me. Maybe it was the massive amount of media being consumed by my household. Or perhaps simply the unknown which scared me. At some point, I convinced myself that whatever happens is going to happen whether I am watching or not. And then, I could write again.

My granddaughter is finally getting evaluated for autism. Caring for her has been a time consuming matter that stiffles my creativity and prevents me from writing. Do not misunderstand this. I love my granddaughter. I love caring for her. But, it’s become apparent that she needs outside help and intervention to catch up to where her age would have her, developmentally. It’s exhausting, physically and mentally, with little progress to show for our efforts.

The pandemic, as much as I wish by now that I was used to it’s presence, still affects everything around us in a way that stiffles creativity and productivity. After losing my job, I have no reliable source of income. I should get unemployment, but questions of eligibility surrounding my college attendance have put that on hold. Mind you, my family is very resourceful and we had a comfortable amount of money in savings. But after a year of trying to maintain lockdown-like conditions and traveling back and forth to Missouri to be with my father, that money is dwindleing very quickly. As we continue to job search, it’s not as easy as you would think since arranging an appropriate day care for the baby will be difficult, not to mention our two boys that we homeschool. But these minor details could be rectified if only a callback would happen. It is comforting to know, however, that we are not alone in our situation. Many people across the country are sharing the same situation and enduring the same uncertainty.

And so, I’ve undertaken NaNoWriMo in the hopes of jumpstarting my writing career. I am working on two different writing projects since some days I struggle to stay focused on one topic. I will be sharing sections of each of them here in the coming month and beyond, as they take shape into novels. My program tells me I should be writing about 1700 words per day. Some days, I barely scratch the surface of a thousand words. And some days I pump out 3000. I can predict that I will not complete 50,000 words this month without an amazing visit from a muse. But I will be satisfied if I can reach 30,000, because it will be tangible evidence that the ball is rolling in the right direction.

To all my readers, I appreciate you. I am so pleased you take a few moments our of your day to read my posts. I know it is just a small piece in the gigantic internet of words, but I’m glad my words have found you.

Cathy Marie Bown

Published by cathymariebown

I am a writer and student looking for my place in the digital world.

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