On the Brink of NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow is November 1st, aka the first day of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I’m all set to go, but feeling very nervous. I’m G-d willing going to be trying out some new software, and I’ve got a partner and a couple online groups for support. And I’ll report back with progress in a week or so.

I’ve got a few tricks to help me out. My great friend, Devorah Talia, suggested an app to me. The app, called Toggl, is free, and helps monitor time spent on jobs. Not only is it helping me make my invoices for freelance editing jobs, it gives me a bit of accountability on what I’m working on. Since starting to use it, I can really see where I waste time, but actually how much time I’m productive, too.

Despite my big NaNoWriMo project, I’m doing other writing, too. I have to write two humor columns in November. And this evening, I spent a big chunk of time writing a dvar Torah to present in my synagogue on Shabbos morning to a group of women. It’s been a while since I’ve taught the parshah of the week, and I got very, very excited about my thesis. A long talk with my husband helped me formulate my ideas, he gave me an additional piece of evidence, and now I’m set to go. I’m hoping to get some feedback on an essay and rewrite it, too.

And I have a couple picture book ideas bouncing around my head, too.

Usually, I’m not exactly a font of creativity at this time of year. This is the season in which I usually start to fade into a hibernation that lasts until Tu B’Shevat, roughly at the end of January. I’m hoping to hold onto my energy and imagination long enough to complete some of these projects!

 

Fighting hibernation again

I think that despite outward appearances, I am a bear.

You may have heard me complain about this before. For some reason, for the last several autumns, my body has decided all I really should be doing at this time of year is lying slanty across a bed or a couch, dozing. My brain does not want to turn on.

Usually, I hold out until December, but this year, it kicked in as soon as sunset arrived before 5 pm local time.

The problem is, I have work to do. And I want to do it. I’ve got plans to write faster the next few weeks in order to finish my serial as quickly as possible. But all I want to do is sleep…

A morning nap helped on Tuesday. Today, I finally perked up after a little rest, a bite to eat, and taking ibuprofen (because the sleepiness is often accompanied by headache). Most of the time, exercise early in the day helps, but today, I was too miserable for even that.

My best friend told me over the phone yesterday that she’s sure all will be well, because at least I know what’s happening so I can take care of myself and know it’s just a temporary thing.

After a few weeks, the hibernation instinct seems to slowly disappear. I’m usually pretty normal by January. And the flip side is that in the spring, I sometimes go a bit manic. Not really, clinically manic, but optimistic and bouncy, energetic and creative. Totally overflowing with ideas and able to write and write and write. Which is pretty useful (not only for writing, but for Passover cleaning).

The good news is that by being patient with myself, I actually got a bunch of writing done today, not as much as I would have liked, but enough to not feel the day was just a total waste. I suppose I just have to be okay with decreased productivity.

And now, I’m returning to my den.