I’m just sitting here stunned. In April, I hurled myself into Camp NaNoWriMo with not much heads-up. I had a couple of paragraphs and an illustration for something called Hot Wings and Sauciness. Was this a good idea? Just diving in? Especially since I had been so tied up with health issues and other stressors since the year began?
YES, MUCH GOOD IDEA!
My brain was aching for a creativity stint. I needed to write.
I set a goal of 40K words, which with my chronic pain is hard to do. But holy smokies, I ended up writing 33K words! I also did this:
- had a blast
- fell in love with these characters
- cared for this “throwaway project”
- realized I don’t want to throw it away after all
I also accommodated for my pain and fatigue and didn’t write every day. Now I have something that is wonderfully raw and first drafty, and I know how to finish it. This will be my first very short novel and something I want to indie publish in hopes of raising funds for cool projects with the Spoonie Authors Network. Hey, a disabled crone can dream, can’t she?
So yeah, here’s my dashboard as of April 30, 2023:
These NaNoWriMos are great motivators for me. And they not only get me back into the habit of writing but also the desire to write. I’ve been in production mode for two years with Nothing Without Us Too and Season One: Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space, so it’s nice just to play in my wordbox again (like a sandbox but with words).
I’m going to continue with Hot Wings and Sauciness this month, until I have a completed super-duper raw first draft. Like Terry Pratchett said, I’m just telling myself the story right now.
So, there ya go! Whoo!
Remember that we often think too much in a binary way—pass or fail, win or lose. The reality is we need to celebrate all the things. I didn’t “lose” anything! I wrote 33,000 words that weren’t there in March! I got a story to be enthusiastic about. To quote Ted Lasso, my book is a “work-in-prog-mess,” and I couldn’t be more proud.
I challenge you to be proud of yourself today. Go for it. Be shameless.
There’s too much self-bashing in AuthorWorldLand. Let’s try the other way, okay? Be your own cheerleader!
Because I have a strong suspicion other folks think you’re awesome too.
Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, The Stealth Lovers, and the forthcoming Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the multi-genre disability fiction anthologies Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too.
Featured photo is a screenshot of my CampNaNoWriMo dashboard.