A(n open) letter to NaNoWriMo

Dear NaNoWrimo,

I’m sorry for letting you down. I’m sorry for committing so strongly to you and allowing the rest of my life to get in the way.

Wait… no. I’m not sorry. This is not a “letting down” or a failure in any way. This is life. Sometimes, we make commitments that we just can’t keep. And for me, unfortunately, this was one of those times.

But I am proud of myself. I am proud of having the guts to have made the commitment, and for continuing to write despite a number of obstacles.

Recovery from any illness is difficult. Part of my recovery includes a severely compromise immune system which means that the common cold can knock me right out for days on end.

NaNo, I spent Week 1 of your beautiful challenge in bed teetering on the edge of a fever, with barely enough energy to pick myself up and out of bed to shower.

I spent Week 2 recovering from a week of bed rest. Trying to get myself back into my routine, catching up on deadlines, just trying to be myself again.

In those two weeks, though, I got to do some lovely things for myself and my wellbeing outside of my writing life. I built a mock up of my website from scratch for my web development class. I got to go on a spa day with my love that we have been trying to plan for over a year – a day that had been postponed numerous times due to my health. I spent some long overdue time with my sister. I got to get all fancy and go to a Gala in a beautiful evening gown.

So as I’m sitting here, in the middle of a journey that was meant to be beautiful and inspiring and full of words, I am not disappointed in myself the way I was before I started writing this post. I feel strong today. I feel like I can take on the world and that my writing journey – the journey to write this memoir – is on an upwards path, regardless of falling behind.

Thank you NaNo, for teaching me that it’s okay to have out-of-this-world goals, and that it’s also okay to live my life and give myself softer deadlines.

I will tell my story. I will write this book. I just may not get to 50,000 words by November 30th. And you know what?

I’m totally okay with it.

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