Hi friends. It's been quite some time since I updated the blog. Some of you follow me over on Instagram and are the most up to date with my ups and downs. Today, though, I wanted to get more of my ideas out of my head than normal. A story only goes so far. And Instagram has a 2,000-ish character limit. So, here we are!
"What do I want to talk about today?" I hear you ask. Well, a lot of things actually. From updates about myself, to discussing mental health, my struggles with this time of year, and the lessons I learned from participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Yeah, I think that order should about do it. Feel free to skip to whichever parts are important to you!
Updates about Myself
Hmm, now that I'm here I'm finding myself struggling to put down words. My real life 8-5 job is going quite well. I couldn't be happier with my employer, coworkers, and bosses. They're all wonderful, which is a blessing.
I've started working on a new book. I'm roughly 25,000 words into it. For perspective, ATTICUS came in around 45,000. I've also started streaming on twitch 5 days a week. Currently I'm taking narrative requests and playing them so others can experience the story without playing. I'm trying to post more on instagram. Which I'm focusing on either writing/author items or trying to show readers what narrative games they may enjoy!
My family and I recently returned from holiday. Nothing major, just a short 3-ish hour drive to spend time with family. The kids always love getting to spend time with their cousins. Which is good. Though some are entering that stage of life where you truly want to be an individual and stand out from your family. I remember my own struggles with that era. Heck, it's still a thing for me.
Oh, and I started drafting up reviews for cozy style games. I had did a good number rather quickly, but have been distracted with Pokemon. My next cozy review is of Harvestella. But due to its genre and size I really want to beat it before I write anything up.
Mental Health and my Struggles
This time of year can be hard for everyone. I know for me, it can be quite the challenge. Not sure if it's just the lack of sun. Or because it gets dark sooner here. Not to mention how artic the area becomes. I know for myself though, it's a time of year that can be a really slippery slope. Usually, I can keep myself afloat until about January. Then, it's a struggle. This year though, I'm more equipped than ever before with self awareness, digital friends, and tools to help keep me more calm. Which is good because I am a person who spirals, fast.
If you're out there struggling too. I hope you know you're not alone. I also hope you'll talk about it. Whether it's with people who are close, or even just online. I try to do this a lot in my Instagram stories. I hope that people see it and see that they're not alone out here. Despite being so connected by every channel possible, it's easy to feel so so alone. Hang in there friends. You're always welcome to message me and I'll listen.
I really hope as we keep talking about this sort of thing the lessons sink in for others. Not just the people struggling. But for the bystanders. They mythical creatures who shake their heads at those of us who struggle with the anxiety, trauma, and voices in our head. I really hope they have open ears and empathy when listening.
What I learned from Nano
As I continue to write I feel my ambitions fading away. I'm losing focus and my fatigue is growing.
This year I decided to participate in the annual NaNoWriMo. A challenge event for writers or authors to try and write 50,000 words in the month of November. Many do this via writing prompts, or practices to hone their skills. Others, like myself, use it as a launching pad to get a bunch of work done in the next project. While I had a beautiful start, I fell off midway through. In about 2 weeks I wrote a solid 25,000 words and was on track to complete Nano. But, I just couldn't do it. I burnt myself out mentally and emotionally. Writing 1,667 words every day was hard. Especially, since my writing style previously was "only write when the muse strikes". But, there are some wins.
1. I actually wrote 25,000 words in 2 weeks.
ATTICUS took me 8 months to write, edit, revise, etc. And it was taxing emotionally and physically. Mentally too. I swore I couldn't write unless I was blessed with the gift of inspiration. I learned I can tap into that when I want to and I don't have to wait around for the golden hour of inspiration. That's huge!
2. I was training a new muscle and I went too hard.
You don't go to the gym and start bench pressing 200 pounds. You start slow, build your muscles, and work your way up. I didn't do that with my writing. I burned myself out. I pushed too hard, too frequently. Something I think I'll from here on out though is writing sprints. Wherein, I set a timer for 5-25 minutes, or something, and just write in that window.
Those were the 2 major lessons I learned this year. I think that's a big deal. So while I "failed" the NaNoWriMo challenged. I can learn from failure. I was able to self access and see what didn't work for me, how I failed, and what could work for me in the future. We're all people learning and growing. Just because I failed, doesn't mean it's the end.
I hope others will remember that too and show themselves grace in life.
If you made it this far, let me know in the comments how you're doing! Or give it a like, if that's an option. If you're enjoying this blog, it sure would mean a lot if you shared them on Insta or wherever you think it can help people.
Until next time friends. Always remember you're not alone out here.
Hang in there.