Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Down and Out and Back Again

I've been trying to figure out how to start this post for a while now.  Like, a long while.  Hours.  Days.  Weeks.  But not months so I guess that's something.  I write a sentence, think about it for a while and then delete it.  And then after about thirty or so attempts at typing a single sentence, thinking about it and then deleting it, I just shut down the computer and go do something else.  Only 'something else' these days either involves a shift at The Store (Retail, thou art the bane of my existence) or staring aimlessly at a wall because I don't seem to have anything left right now.  I am an M.J. shaped pile of nothing.

So, hey, aren't you glad I'm here to blog about all the nothing?

And I don't want to be a drama queen and I don't want to make excuses which is a big part of why I haven't blogged in so long.  Because everything I would say feels like an excuse.  Yes, I received Bad News at the start of the month and it took me down.  I let it take me down and I let it keep me down.  I should have been stronger.  I should have been more resilient but I wasn't.  And as I can't change this, I'm going to try something new where I don't beat myself up over it.

Just... don't ask how that's going.

Instead let's talk about NaNoWriMo.  This is something else over which I am not going to beat myself up.  Probably.  Maybe.

And why is that, you might ask?  Well, I'm going to lose this year.  This is my fourth year participating and it'll be my very first loss.  I'm currently sitting at just over 14,000 words which is just about... 31,000 words behind where I should be at this time.  According to the stats page, at my current rate of production, I'll be crossing that finish line in February.  Of 2013.  Not my best NaNoWriMo performance.  Not by a long shot.

And I'm going to be okay with that.  Someday.  Maybe.  In February.  Of 2023.

But enough about my failure.  I see from my Buddies Page that some of you are already winners and many of the rest of you are agonizingly close.  I applaud those who have already won and I am rooting for the rest of you.

And I'm happy for the people whose books I've recently purchased (Jolene Perry, Michael Offutt, Gwen Gardner, Andrew Leon and more!).  Your accomplishments are awesome in every sense of the word and I look forward to reading your stories.

And I look forward to getting back into the swing of things.  Or, at least, making an effort toward getting back into the swing of things.  And in the name of doing just that, I am going to end this post with a life's philosophy posted on a Facebook page by a woman much wiser than me (I don't know from where it originated but her page is where I found it):

Laugh when you can... Apologize when you should... And let go of what you can't change.  Love deeply and forgive quickly... Take chances and give your everything... Life is too short to be anything but happy... You have to take the good with the bad... Love what you have and always remember what you had.  Forgive but don't forget... And always remember that life goes on.

P.S... I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a good one!


  1. Oh, and here I just thought you were bogged down with NaNo. Now, I'm bummed. But good on you for getting back up!
    And thanks for picking up my stuff! :)

  2. Thank you so much for your tweet and purchasing my book. I was so surprised by it, and it really made my day. *Hugs to M.J. You are wonderful :)

  3. Sorry to hear you're in a bad way at the moment, but I'm glad to hear that you're doing your best to carry on despite it :) Don't be disheartened by the 14k wordcount - it's 14k more than I'd have written, so silver linings, eh?


  4. I am sorry you have been feeling so down. Your presence in the blogging world has certainly been missed. Don't be too hard on yourself about NaNoWriMo, there is always next year. As writers there are good times and bad times, so don't feel bad when you just need a little time to sulk. I hope things get better soon.

  5. Awww, crap. First, hugs.
    Sorry to hear you got bad news at the start of the month. Heck, I'm sorry you got bad news period. Doing NaNo is hard enough without having to start off in the pits. But, it's only NaNo, meant to motivate and get people writing, not bring you down if you don't finish. The key is perspective and participation. So look at it this way, you wrote 14,000+ words that you wouldn't have otherwise. I think that's pretty damn awesome.

  6. You tried - that is never failure.
    Whatever it is - yes, you can rise above it. You will get up and boogie down the road. You won't let it get to you because MJ doesn't take any crap!

  7. November was a fickle bitch. I feel your pain. Here's hoping December will be looking up for both of us.

  8. Sometimes you just need to wallow for a bit. Instead of fighting it, allow it - but only for a little while. Give yourself a deadline - like once December starts you're back on some sort of positive track. Treat yourself well through it all - chocolate, good books and movies and TV, naps. Hang in there!

  9. I like the quote at the end because it's about going forward, which is the only choice we have really. I wouldn't worry about NaNo numbers. It's an arbitrary challenge. In the big picture you wrote 14K, and that's a step forward -- something that can take me six months to do sometimes. If we were in a writing race, you'd be kicking my butt.

  10. Sorry to hear about your month. Mine hasn't been any better if that helps. This is my first NaNo loss as well and I managed like 11,000 words - so hey, your still doing better than me!

    My creative goodness has hit a brick wall because life isn't cooperating, but I know I will get back at it one day. Baby steps, one day at a time. That is all we can do.


  11. I'm glad you're here blogging! Keep trying on the Nano. Don't give up!

  12. Glad you came back. Hope things are getting better. I bailed on nano pretty early on last year, and almost wish I had this year as I am almost close enough to pull it off, but not without stress. The first year was the charm apparently!

  13. You can stop shoulding yourself. It is what it is, and no one here is judging you.

    Have you ever thought about writing that blog post? The one you start and delete because it's whiny, full of excuses, and just not what you want to put out there. Put all your angst in it. Write what you feel.

    Just don't publish it.

    I find that when I'm in a funk, writing it out helps. I write down all that I'm feeling, thinking, wishing, etc. I can be as whiny as I want. No one's ever going to read it. And somehow, after, I feel so much better.

    Take care. I know how "fun" Season can be. (I so don't miss working retail.)

  14. missed ya! sorry i cant do anything to help. i failed camp nano, but finished last month =)

    glad you're still here. so are we, for you!

  15. Love that quote. Seems to fit my life right now.

  16. I'm happy to see you back. Know that we're all here for you. Even if you don't make your word count, don't give up! You've started something. That's more than a lot of people do.

  17. It happens to all of us. I haven't blogged in almost a month. Sometimes we do need a break. It will be ok.

  18. This NaNo was filled with delayed starts, behind word counts, and people having to drop out. It is all over. It just doesn't seem to be the month, year, for NaNo. Sometimes we push ourselves to accomplish something that just isn't important and we get burned out for no reason. Sometimes it is just better to sit back and say, "Hey, this doesn't matter. I didn't make it, that is okay." And you tried, so that counts.

    I'm sorry your life decided to go haywire for a bit. I hope it all gets back to normal and less insane. Before the holidays. Holidays are insane enough without anything else added to it.

  19. Hey MJ! Sorry to hear about your bad news, but you're right in keeping quotes like that one at the end of your post in mind. We all have our ups and downs, and what keeps me moving forward most is getting a fresh perspective. There's so much to be thankful for, and so many people would trade places with us if they could. Life really is beautiful.
    (Sorry for the chipperness but I just had my second cup of coffee... lol)
    Anyway, no worries about NaNo. These things just can't be forced. Sending good vibes your way! :D