That’s right. I didn’t do NaNo this year. The final days of last November brought on a sly, simmering uneasiness about my health. It was a feeling I couldn’t quite shake, but knew I ignored it at my own peril. Yes, nineteen years with the unpredictable and unforgiving disorder of MS have taught me to respect my intuition – if you’ve got the shakes, Susan, for God’s sake slow down. And, if you know me, I’m an all-in or a who-cares kind of girl, and I felt it unwise to subject myself to another month of NaNo stress. Writing is meant to be fun. Why spoil it with another trip to physical therapy?
Instead, I embarked on an entirely different type of insanity. One where *I* was making the rules (sort of). In fact, I have been on a writing hiatus this month in order to preserve my sanity (what little I have). And do you know what? It sucks.
I’m taking an online course to earn graduate credits and earn the next level of fifteen hours so I can also earn another raise at work. That is, beyond the yearly seniority raise that’s built into our contract with the school. If I can look smarter by earning additional graduate credit hours, I get more cash in my pay envelope:
So, I’ve been taking this course on using primary sources at the Library of Congress. I go around hunting up really cool pictures that I might be able to use in my teaching:
And not paying enough attention, so I find this, which I sent to my son. He lives in Binghamton, so it seemed like the right thing to do:
Then my local writing group, CTRWA, reminded its members to enter the chapter’s “fun” contest: the Marga-RITAs. Chapter-only, it celebrates the best and the worst in our writing. Categories like “most creative and anatomically impossible sex scene” and “best run-on sentence” help exorcise the misery of our writing “errors”, while we celebrate another year of writing good stuff (“best use of adorable child and/or cute animal” is my fave)(you are so going down this year, Kristan Higgins!)
Do you have any idea what it feels like to find your writing, hidden away while you slave over primary sources in pursuit of filthy lucre in your day job? It really stings! Little gems of prose are discovered, just waiting for the tacky margarita glass that is the prize (I have two).
What say you, Mermaid friends? Did you ever have to go on a writing “diet” to achieve other… er…. achievements? How did it feel? And, knowing how it felt at the other end, how hard was it to get back into the writing swing of things?