I don’t believe in writer’s block. I honestly don’t. I believe in a lack of motivation, loss of inspiration, an overabundance of stress contributing to depression. Which all around destroys one’s ability to be artistic in a positive manner. I can’t really explain why I haven’t written anything in this blog worth reading for over three years. Only that I can’t imagine that any of you would have liked to read what I have written in these past years. Only that I have continued to write on my own, and I haven’t been sharing those words with anyone other than myself.
However, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this last November, and let me tell you, I blew that competition out of the water. I had 30 days to write a 50k word novel, which is barely over the limit of a novella mind you. I completed the challenge on day 11. ELEVEN days! I wrote 50,000 words in ELEVEN days! I could barely contain my excitement.
And when I went bouncing to my loved ones, proud of my achievement, none of them cared. Not, a, one. They blinked at me like a deer in the headlights. I had ran them over with my excitement and they didn’t even notice. The grill of my shiney new novel smashed under their lack of shit to give.
At first, I was deeply hurt. My depression which had taken hold of me earlier that year grabbed my heart and I cried into my pillow. Why couldn’t anyone notice how much I had achieved? Why didn’t they care? Then it hit me, days later, staring into my granola cereal as it got soggy. I had over achieved so much that I had made it look like it was nothing. I went back to my chatrooms and forums and read from published authors on the topic and every single one of them mentioned the exact same story.
What had I been expecting? I was bouncing! Literally bouncing on the balls of my feet, waiting as patiently as I could for the person to be done with what they were doing so I could tell them what I had done. I wanted them to drop what they were doing and scream to the heavens with glee! Sweeping me into many hugs and pats on the back! I got a thumbs up. Really. I received a genuine thumbs up. If that doesn’t crush your enthusiasm, I don’t know what will.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this, or telling you all this, to cry about my shortcomings. No. I’m writing this because I had a moment of clarity that changed my sobs and strengthened my heart. I was proud of myself. What does it matter that other’s weren’t, or that I couldn’t see their enthusiasm the way I wanted to. I didn’t write a novel for their approval, or for them to be proud of me in the first place, so why was I searching for it? It wasn’t that no one cared, they just didn’t care as much as I wanted them to. That was unfair of me to expect of them. How were they supposed to know how much I wanted them to freak right out and scream and jump in circles with me? They weren’t. There is no psychics in my world. No one to read my mind and hold my hand in the world and tell me I’m fantastic.
So my expectations have changed. I am proud of myself, and that is all that I need. I wrote a freaken novel! I rock! ‘Nuff said.