And so I sit here, on the eve of the culmination of yet another 50,000 words of utter twaddle, loosely labelled as NaNoWriMo.
I haven’t harped on and on about it this year as, although everyone is super-supportive and encouraging (let me tell you, there have been times when I’d have chucked in the towel were it not for you!) I’m aware that it must be incredibly tedious for most people to observe. Besides which, it’s not like anyone can actually afford to put their entire life on hold for a month of solid writing – normal life still goes on, it’s just something you have to fit in, make time for. I’m fortunate in the timing, as James is at pre-school four mornings a week and Harry still naps and grazes for most of the daylight hours.
I hadn’t planned to take part in NaNoWriMo this year, until exactly one week before the start of November, when a few people on Twitter were beginning to discuss it. I’ve had something mulling around in my mind for many years now, that I’ve tried on countless occasions to get down on paper, as it were, but each time, I’ve given up all too quickly. It just didn’t flow and I had nothing to inspire me to plod on. And so, I thought it’d be an excellent opportunity to keep my hand in with the old writing whilst quashing a few age-old demons to boot.
I’m finding it a difficult and wholly onerous task. The cathartic experience I thought it would serve as seems so far away and, in working my way through the sorry tale, I’m forced to relive elements of my past that I had hoped I’d buried deeply some years ago. I’ve noticed that, during times of procrastination, I’m nipping across to YouTube and looking out songs that serve as an instant time machine, transporting me right back to periods of time in which I felt either radically happy or desperately sad. I also absent-mindedly caught myself searching for someone on Facebook – someone I despised for so long, but am now curious as to what they’re up to.
I still don’t know if it’s a completely unhealthy process or, when I finally reach the end of the project, if I’ll feel like a massive weight has been lifted. Because it’s a damned burden that I’ve been carrying around for most of my adult life and it’s time to move on.
People think I’m being an arsehole, when they ask if they can read my novel and I tell them, through blushes (you can’t see those online, thankfully), that it’s not something anyone else will want to read. The truth is, that I don’t think I *can* let anyone read my 50,000 words of personal, revealing and often quite pathetic true story. Or, at least, it’s about 85% true story, with a few tweaks here and there to make my life sound at least a teensy bit interesting, ha.
And so, please don’t feel bad if I turn down your kind offer to read my 2010 NaNoWriMo efforts. I may be an open book, but, with the best will in the world, I don’t feel ready to let anyone in at such a deeply personal level. Not yet, anyway.
Tomorrow, I should be finished. And then will come the monumentous decision of whether to burn it, like some rectangular effigy, or whether to be brave and embrace the past for what it was – a step-ladder towards who I have become.