I’ve been writing, my fingers whirling like a mad dervish across the keyboard, my mind spinning and emptying of all the words that I’ve ever known. Music flowing from my ear buds had blocked the outside world from my existence. Melodic tunes have whirled me away to distant shores, where the requirements of daily life don’t exist.
Every November for the past 14 years I have sworn that I am going to write one 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Every year I failed, abysmally. Except for last year, last year I managed to close to 45,000 words, give or take a few, in 30 days. The last 5,000 words never made it to the page, at least not in time for me to post it and verify it on the Nanowrimo website.
But this year, this year I managed to not only get all 50,000 words written, but I did it less than 30 days. When I wrote that 50,000th word, I still had 8 days left. So, I guess it’s no surprise that I say that this was the best year ever for writing, and I owe it all to my family.
Last year they clamored for my attention. Join us in watching this show or that. Spend time with the family, doing family things. I didn’t begrudge them, I mean this family is what is most important in my life, not a few little words written on my lap top for a competition that is just for myself, just for me to prove that it is something that I can do. Do I get anything for finishing? No. There’s no big prize at the end of Nanowrimo, not a t-shirt, not a button even. Just a little winners badge that I can post on my blog, or on Facebook. Just a great big pat on my back, so I can tell myself with a huge sigh of relief that I did it. I finished Nanowrimo 2015 and feel proud of myself.
So, when I had to take time away from being with the family, I felt this huge wave of guilt wash over me. I was torn between writing and being the Mom my family needs. It was horrible, and even if I was able to ignore that guilt and write, my heart wasn’t in it, not really.
But this year was different. My family supported me. They did things together, things that I would hate. Things that always leave me out of the mix, and it was wonderful. I sat beside them in the living room, while they watched all the movies and tv shows that I can’t stand. My fingers tapping on my keyboard, my ear buds wedged tight in my ears, music filling my mind with the ability to turn off my Mommy-ness for a moment and just write.
Is what I wrote good? Hell no. It’s horrible and unless I spend a good amount of time rewriting and changing a hell of a lot of things, no other human eyes shall ever see this work. It wasn’t for that. It was for me, to be able to say ‘I did it’ and that’s all that matters.
And I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful family, ignoring me, nagging me to write when I wondered too far from my keyboard. They are the best family a mother who does Nanowrimo can ever have.