Once upon a time I thought it would be the best to focus on the here and now of things and turned my writer brain off while at work. I didn’t day dream about the what ifs, I hunkered down in the here and now. It was the worst decision ever. Because now I struggle to turn my writer brain on.
Each year I do NaNoWriMo, and one of the things I look forward to is the return of that writerly abandon. The mantra that writing comes first. But each year, getting to that place, where writing was always drifting about in my mind, had become harder and harder, and maybe I fought for it a little bit less too. Scared to loose focus at work. Scared too of the possibilities it might bring.
But work hasn’t rewarded me in the ways I thought it would. Certain jobs I had worked my ass off towards where denied me, and it became clear I was just a pawn being used and not appreciated. You know what, I can deal with that. It’s a day job. It pays the bills.
What I could not deal with any longer though was the feeling of being trapped. I needed my writer brain back. In it, there was freedom and possibility.
So this NaNoWriMo, I’m not slacking. I’m forcing myself to do word count and then some every day, because the best way to build a habit is to be committed to it. The best way to open up those floodgates to the imagination was to make sure I always had the door open.
It’s day 11. Writer brain is fully turned on. I know this because as I was walking back in from lunch break, I had the opening of a book I had been thinking about for a while. I knew the basics, the foundation, and I rushed inside to capture it. I let that come first.
And that is how it’s going to be from here on out. Even after NaNoWriMo. Writer brain turned on high, at all times. Imagination ready to run. If I need 5 minutes to capture dialogue, or a flash of inspiration, then I’m going to take it. Because someone needs to be invested in me, and that person is going to be me.
I want out of the day job, and the only way I want that is through writing. So that means I write. That means I dream. That means I finish, and revisit, and push myself.
NaNoWriMo is a about a lot of things, and everyone comes to it for different reasons. My reasons shift from year to year. However, one thing I know beyond a doubt every single year, is that writing comes first. I want that to be my mantra from here on out.