The end of a streak?

I’m giving up on NaNo for the year. Part of the reason is a bad one. One of my children resents how much time I spend on the event, and on writing. I know this isn’t a reason to quit. Logically, it is important that my child feels resentful, but it is something I need to talk about with them, not give up something that had once brought me great joy.

The other part is what I just said, if you caught it.

I no longer get joy from the NaNo challenge.

I am resentful of the stress I impose on myself to complete the event.

I am resentful of the frustration I feel when I can’t come up with a satisfying idea within the constraints of the event.

Like, seriously — I put entirely too much stress on myself for this, for what? 50,000 words that I might not finish or publish? An incomplete story that I got to 50K and discarded? A pile of lost printouts and screwed up stats on a website?

I’m done.


And I say “probably” because it is very, very possible that I will change my mind and whip out a story of 50K in the next six days (I’m counting today, the 25th). I say that because I’ve done it before.

But I don’t want to. Right now, I want to focus on Christmas, and the Advent Calendar idea I have for the kids. I want to focus on things that actually bring me joy right now, even if none of those things are “productive” (ie: meeting that weird measurement of what I think other people think I should be doing).

Maybe you’re wondering why i’m making such a big deal out of this. That’s a really good question. Because it’s been part of my identity since 2003? Because I spent 9 years being a regional leader for the event? Because it’s how I met my best friends and it feels like I’m giving up on them if I give up on NaNo?

Because I’m stupid and I make stupid decisions and I can’t do anything right? (I know that’s not it, but that’s what the negative self-talk is telling me.)

That’s it. I’m going to go back to not thinking about the end of a 17 year streak.

By which I mean, probably, that I’ll be able to think of nothing else.

Thus, this blog post.


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