There Are No More Wants, Only Needs
I wanted to be lazy. I wanted to watch TV all day in my pajamas.
I wanted to write something, but not my novel. Anything else besides my damn novel.
I wanted to clean my room, to unpack my suitcase, to wash clothes. I wanted to organize my rope, hang up my outfits, and start planning things for next year.
But it didn’t matter what I wanted anymore. All that mattered was what I needed. And I needed to write. A lot.
I needed to leave my suitcase on the floor and ignore the clutter. I needed to put off goal setting for next year until next month. I needed to allow myself to live in a room that looked like a tornado swept through it.
I needed to get up on my days off, put on clothes, go downstairs, and write. I needed to take breaks. I needed to eat, and to sleep. I needed to go to bed early. I needed to remember that if I endured, I would make it to the end.
I needed to go to California. I needed that break.
I needed to keep Thanksgiving NaNo free. I needed to give myself that day.
I needed to see my niece, who I hadn’t seen in ages. I needed to hear her laugh, and cry, and be a brat, and be super sweet. I needed to see my best friend and her husband. I needed to be reminded people loved me, with or without a published work to my name.
I needed to be pushed. I gratefully accepted the help that came.
I needed to keep going. Just keep going. And I did.
Allow Your Needs To Sustain You
Sleep felt so good, and yet never enough during NaNo. I needed more, much more, and though I know it made me feel lame at times, I also know it made the struggle more bearable.
When I ate, I stopped thinking about calories. I focused on the foods that made me happy, or more to the point the food I had as opposed to the food I wish I had. Food was a meal, but I allowed myself to enjoy it. Taking refuge in the little good I could muster would push me further.
Make Yourself Happy
Once, again on my last day of writing, I realized I had not practiced poi in weeks (since California to be exact).
I also had a headache. And I was annoyed. I had about two-thousand more words to go before I could be done. Why couldn’t I just push them out? Why couldn’t I just throw shit up on the screen and call it a day, fuck a month?
I closed my netbook, found my practice poi, stepped outside in the cold, and played. Music came from my iPhone. I sung along while occasionally whacking myself in the face or the thigh or the arm. (Like I said, I was out of practice.)
But I gave myself that time. I got some fresh air, got my heart pumping a little. I smiled. I laughed. And, at the end of my thirty minutes in the cold swinging tennis balls around, I felt so much better.
And then I finished my first draft.
A couple times a week, before bed, I read a blog. I knew I needed to go to sleep, knew I needed to rest up so I could get back to writing in the morning. But I also knew I needed to relax. I needed to think about something other than my wordcount. My brain needed a break from my novel.
And, as it so happened, reading that blog felt good, great even. It got my mind working in different directions. Got me to write (as per the comments section) about something other than the lives of my characters. It made me happy.
When you’re in the thick of it, lost in the sea of your imagination and the stress of making something difficult come to life, it’s important to take moments to make yourself happy. Find things that make you smile. Family. Friends. A good book (I’m working through How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran). A soothing hobby (I also almost finished a fucking long scarf in this month too). Something that does it for you.
If I couldn’t have been happy while also doing this thing that I loved, even when it was hard, even when it was a struggle, then this month wouldn’t have been worth it.
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