A NaNoWriMo and Health Update

It’s the 24th of November and I am 12,000 words behind my projected word count for NaNoWriMo.

Last year, I couldn’t face the idea of a potential loss and just quit when I’d only hit 6,000 words in the first 15 days. This year, I’m bucking up and I’m doing the thing.

My life has been in a bit of shambles in the last week and a half, since the last time I’d sat down to write until last night.

Mom came to visit so I knew I was taking some time off for that. Then I had a very confronting and important doctor’s appointment that threw my mental health into absolute chaos, and the prospect of sitting at my computer to hash out the stories that brought me to this point in my health journey – the topic of the full length memoir I’m writing as my NaNoWriMo project – seemed absolutely trivial.

So I took some time off to take care of myself, my mental health, and to get my head in the game in terms of my health.

I am living with lung disease. I am in a limbo where I am playing around with different medications to see if we can get my lungs to work the way they are supposed to. And while all of that is happening, I’ve been feeling okay to my own standards. Coming to terms with this chronic illness really took a lot out of me.

Today I am feeling much more confident about my situation. With the help of family who have contacts with the leading specialists in the field of my chronic illness, I have been afforded the opportunity not only to have informal phone calls with people who have seen hundreds of cases like my own. I am fortunate that some of these contacts are in traveling distance for me, and I will be able to go to get the second opinions I am seeking to ensure that I live a long, happy, healthy life after the whirlwind of a health scare my leukemia diagnosis, treatment, and recovery have been.

Mom stayed an extra week to help me get my house in order. I found out that I am a wardrobe hoarder, that I have enough clothes for myself to clothe a family of 10. I have learned that I allow too much dust to gather in my bedroom and that the air circulation in my house needs a serious upgrade.

I have all the information I need about my surroundings and my disease, now after taking a week off from the end goal of a completed manuscript, and now I am ready to get back in the game.

Last night I bit the bullet and got myself out of the house and to my writers’ group so I could get some words in. I was so nervous that having taken so much time off and getting out of the routine I had created for myself, that the words would no longer flow.

I was wrong.

I wrote nearly 4,000 words in the 3 hours I focused on writing last night, and had my eyes not been closing, I could have continued.

I want to be a writer. And so, as my soul sister and writing coach Gurpreet reminded me last night, I must live by Hemingway’s words:

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

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