In years passed, I have tried my darndest to participate in and win NaNoWrimo. A few failed attempts (including a Camp NaNoWriMo attempt which happens in April) lead to finally winning in 2017 with a 50,255 word count on essentially a brain dump.
That brain dump lead to a bigger, nearly fully edited full length project. No Way Out But Through (working title) chronicles my life before cancer, through diagnosis and treatment, up to my stem cell transplant. In poetic prose, I lay out the inner depths of my broken heart to show the truest, hardest parts of losing my youth to cancer.
In the last 2 years since I finished the first draft of NWOBT, so much in my life has changed… for the better. Although I’ve been dealing with some of the most devastating complications a person could imagine as a result of the procedure that literally saved my life, I am living a fuller life than I’d ever allowed myself to before becoming ill.
This year’s project is an ode to this life that I’ve build myself. An ode to the side effects and complications of treatment that no one tells us about. An ode to persevering through grief and hardship with positivity, love, and a zest for life. An ode to emotional healing that a cancer diagnosis afforded me.
I will never be grateful for cancer, or all the shit that it has put me through. But what I am grateful for is the ways in which my perceptions of love, success, happiness, and life itself have changed in its wake.
In NWOBT, I took myself (and soon, my readers) on a journey through the depths of my sease. And in What Happens Next (working title) I want to take you to my clearest, warmest, most purifying waters.
In inviting you on this journey through NaNoWriMo with me, I’m hoping to give you a glimpse of what NaNo can look like.