I think my brain automatically went into crisis mode after my last post. It’s like, “Well that’s done, now what?”. One part of my brain knows that I can just keep writing like this every day, even without NaNoWriMo to push me. But another part, the stubborn and cranky part, is freaking out. That part of my brain keeps telling me that I finished this project, so now I need to move on and start more projects. Why would I keep writing when I finished my writing for the month? And while we’re thinking like that, why keep writing into December? I mean, there’s all that holiday stress; my schedule is going to be all wonky; I have all that shopping and baking and wrapping and then re-wrapping once my festive feline Bowser Kitten attacks the presents. Why add more stress to that with writing? Writing is for November, and those odd times inspiration strikes and I have access to my computer at the same time. Why force it?
This is the part of my brain that keeps throwing more and more at me. When I wrote my post on things I’m really not good at and mentioned actually finishing things I start, one of you commented that I have to stop trying to do everything all at once. I need to do my month of writing, make it a habit, make it feel wrong not to do it. Once I have that going for me, then throw another thing in there. Well, this part of my brain really hates your suggestion, as much as I freaking love it. This part of my brain is trying to overload me with thoughts, with ideas, with lists of things that I should be doing all at the same time instead of keeping up with writing.
I’ll let it win every now and then when it’s beneficial to me anyway. On Sunday I had to watch a lot of security footage at work and saw myself on all three of the most unflattering cameras. I had to stare at myself standing at the cash register, very intensely looking up something on my phone for a customer, hunched over the counter. My posture was horrible, and I looked huge. So that part of my brain has been telling me over and over, “Forget the writing. You need to work out! You need to eat healthily! We should meal prep! And eat ALL the veggies! Let’s give up meat and go vegan! I know you haven’t run in years and spend most of your day sitting at your desk, but let’s sign up for a 5K next week!” It’s almost too much for me to handle, being bombarded like that by my own brain.
I caved a bit last night while I was at work. I hit up the grocery store on my break and bought a tonne of veggies. The way I look at it, I should be able to appease that part of my brain at least a little bit just by eating a bit better. When I’m sitting here, I usually munch on chips and drink my Coke Zero. But today, after my writing is done, I’m cutting up some veggies and making some stuff to keep in the fridge so it’s convenient for me to grab a healthy snack. I’ll go make some carrot sticks and celery sticks. I’ve got stuff for pico de gallo, which I can throw in anything. Need something on your toast? Pico de gallo. Making an omelet? Add some pico de gallo. Craving junk food? Chips and pico de gallo. Need something on your pasta? Olive oil, cayenne pepper, and pico do gallo. I think I might make a cucumber salad too, just because I could probably eat a cucumber every single day if I had one here.
Even just sitting here trying to type, my brain is shouting so many stupid things at me. I have a few topics left over from this month that I had planned to write about. I also have a bunch of scraps of paper from me jotting down ideas at work. When I set out to start this month, I planned out a whole bunch of posts and stuck to that plan in the beginning. When I didn’t have anything in my mind to write someday later in the month, I had my list of topics I could go off of. Now that little stubborn part of my brain is screaming at me: “What the hell are you going to write about now? You think you can go all of December with just a handful of topics? You think this is bad, just remember that you have the whole year to write before November comes back around! You’re going to use up all your topics, and then have nothing to write next year and you’re going to FAIL!!!” A big part of me just wants to curl up with a notebook and start jotting down ideas, no matter how stupid or how bad they are. It’s what I used to do all the time when I didn’t actually write anything. I’d waste all my time fleshing out ideas, making notes, and telling myself that I still didn’t have enough material to actually start a post. I’d spend more time worrying about not having anything to write with a notebook full of shitty ideas I was sure I could turn into something if I just made enough notes, than I actually spent writing anything.
I know I have to keep up my ideas list. I can’t just rely on my bits of scrap paper floating around my desk. I think I’ll start organizing them, keeping up my lists in OneNote. I have a little writing section in there, and I’m sure I can set something up to keep me motivated. I can go through my ideas from this month that I didn’t use, and start a master list of topics. If I want to make notes on things, I can make a sub-page for that. I can keep track of my calendar, and word counts, and make goals for each month. I mean, I can make my own NaNoWriMo-esque motivational notebook in there to keep me going.
There’s a lot of things my brain is telling me to focus on right now instead of writing, and I really need to sort through it all. Drink more green tea; look for a new job; take up jogging; go do a bajillion push-ups; learn to cook Japanese cuisine; work on Christmas crafts; drop everything and start reading that massive pile of books I’ve been meaning to read. I think I need to find some sort of balance right now, between this and everything else. I mean, some days this month I’d let myself get distracted by things online and spend 3+ hours sitting here banging out 2,000 words while I read NotAlwaysRight and window shopped online stores. If I can break myself of that habit, then I’ll have the time to do the other things my brain is screaming at me to do. Maybe at night, instead of laying there in the dark wishing I could fall asleep while the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend snores away next to me, I’ll just get up and read a little bit. I can find little bits of wasted time in my days, and use that to do the other things my brain is telling me to do (except for the jogging. I’ve always hated jogging, and I don’t know why my brain wants me to do it).
I really do want to keep up with writing. Even if my content right now isn’t great, it’s the fact that I’m actually doing it that matters to me at this point. I spent so many years just not writing anything because the few things I actually did get down weren’t terrific. I basically thought that every single little thing I ever put down on paper or typed out had to be a freakin masterpiece, and scared myself out of actually trying. I was basically too scared to try, because I didn’t think I was any good. But people actually read what I write. They like my posts, they keep coming back to read them. Even if not every single post is amazing, chances are I’ll push something out that is at some point. I just really need to keep doing this.
Only time will tell how much I keep up with this. AAB is really pushing me to keep doing this. He can see a change in me, and it’s brought about a change in him too. I’m happier, and it makes him happier. Do you know what we did on Saturday night that we haven’t done in more than a year? While he was cooking dinner, he had a song stuck in his head. He kept singing it to himself, until I could identify it: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. While he was singing to me, he just grabbed me to slow dance. So I found the song on YouTube, and we giggled and slow danced in the middle of the kitchen at 10-o-clock at night, just being happy together. We used to do things like that all the time, and it’s been ages since we did that. But I’m happier now doing my writing, he’s happier working on learning to cook, and it’s making everything just a little bit better for us. Whether I keep up with writing every single day, or just a few times a week, I don’t know. But this is something I want to work on, even if that stubborn part of my brain is screaming at me not to.