Road to NaNoWriMo 2019

It’s that time of year again – NaNoWriMo – and my brain is already itching to put pen to paper, or in this case fingers to the keyboard. After a busy September, chock full of nonstop work, I’m officially prepping to take on National Novel Writing Month. I’ve had the bones of my upcoming project in my head for the last month and a half and my only hope is that my brain doesn’t decide to jettison my opening scene before November 1st hits.

Last year, I went into November with a loose outline and having to make most of it up as I went along my way to 50,000 words. A handful of times I ran into every writer’s worst nightmare, Writer’s Block, and my ADHD took over. I flip-flopped between characters, sometimes only squeezing out 500 words for the day.

I still managed to reach 50K and it’s easy to blame how hard it was on burnout or the ADHD, but the lack of general planning was staring me in the face. I always ask for lists or to have something submitted in writing from close friends, but I rarely take my own advice. Lists have become my greatest asset in my everyday-ADHD-life and outlines are just super-detailed lists!

Over the last few weeks I’ve researched and outlined until there was steam coming out my ears and my brain leaked down my face. I have a concrete plan of the first thirteen chapters of my novel and a thorough timeline to fill in the gaps. As such I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that this year will be better than last!

If anyone else is taking the plunge into NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a Writing Buddy (at Occams_Writer on the forums) and follow along with my progress at A Lowcountry Promise (Southern Comforts #1).

Apart from the official stats at the link, above I’llbe posting progress reports throughout the month on Twitter & Instagram as a way to keep myself motivated – and held accountably – through the whole process!A Low Country Promise

8 Years Off; First Year Back On

So writing about my own mental health is not something that I do very often. It’s usually in bouts of anxiety or depression swings but I’m getting ahead of myself. I have ADHD and mild anxiety and depression, and for about eight years between 2010 and 2018, I went unmedicated for any of it. I succeeded in making it through college but with the help of a substantial amount of caffeine over the four years. It’s after college where things got difficult.

 

To say I was white-knuckling it would be an understatement as I worked forty hours a week at a Target in Maryland on a minuscule amount of sleep. I was overstimulated, burnt out, and depressed. I kept blaming the job or the lack of sleep but I was ignoring the signs that my mental health was running my life. I wouldn’t start taking it seriously for another year even after sitting down with family and telling them that I was depressed.

 

I’m about to cross the year milestone of being back on medication, taking it seriously, and having a “normal” life. Looking back on the year I can honestly say that getting back on medication was the best decision. For me. I’ll never tell someone that medication is the only way because I had to choose to pursue it. I still have trouble regulating my mood (working on that), and because of that, I’ve misread situations that usually have a simple solution.

 

I have way too many projects and this WordPress is one of them but I think I found the solution. An outlet to better understand my mental health and hopefully help others along the way.

None of this will be scientific or in any way academic. Just me discussing my experiences to understand me.