Ready… Set… Go NaNoWriMo!

It’s November — time for NaNoWriMo! I’ve participated twice in past years but never completed the challenge. Things would come up, life would get busy and my plot holes would swallow me.

This year, I’m breaking the rules just a little. I’m writing non-fiction, which labels me as a NaNoWriMo rebel. I’m okay with that. The words are just as time consuming and important as the words that a fiction novel writer is typing. The only real difference, in my humble opinion, are that my plot points actually happened to me, and instead of writing that “she” or “he” did something, I’m writing that “I” did this or that.

Otherwise, writing is writing and if I meet the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, I’ll be a very satisfied woman.

Many people have said to me, over the past few months, that I should write a book. I’ve heard it off and on in various stages of my life, and always dismissed it as something that people occasionally say but don’t really mean. This time though, the words have stayed in my brain, whispering to me that I have something to say to the world about my experiences.

I am writing about Clara. I am writing about navigating the grief of losing a baby at birth & struggle to put one’s life back into some semblance of order. It’s such a taboo subject, but one that far too many people have to deal with. It speaks to me… I have a lot of thoughts that need to be written down.

Of course, the writing is still fairly unformed, at three days in, but it seems to be pulling together well. I find that the words come flying off of my fingertips whenever the house gets quiet.

Wish me luck as I endeavor to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge this month… and please, forgive me if there are just a few less blog posts than usual while my writing brain is consumed with capturing all of the events and emotions of the past few months within a Word document.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Best of luck, its hard challenge, maybe one day I will attempt it, much blessings to you in your pursuit.

  • You’ll be great! My NaNoWriMo story is inspired by true events, and I think that gives it more heart. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, and I’m sure that the emotion will come out in your story. Keep it up! Three days down!

  • This is great! I am so glad you are writing about that topic even though it sounds like a horrible ordeal. I wrote about a horrible ordeal myself, and found the process very therapeutic.

  • JanineHuldie

    I can sort of relate, because what I am writing is fiction, but loosely based on my experiences in my youth and I too am finding it very therapeutic as Julie said. Great job and am rooting for you!!

  • Thanks Janine!

  • Thank you Julie! I do find writing to be very therapeutic for me, and as painful as this subject is for me to re-visit in exquisite detail, I am confident that it will help me to work through some of my grief.

  • Thanks Isaac! You could do it, I know you could.

  • Thank you Cari! I’m hoping the writing doesn’t become a chore, as I am really enjoying it right now.

  • Angie

    Immersing yourself in this every day is going to be exhausting and emotionally emptying, but I am in awe of your courage to do this. Because it also necessary. Thank you for being so brave. I hope to someday be able to read your book!

  • Melanie Chisnall

    I think it’s very inspirational what you’re doing. Not only trying for the third time and not giving up, but writing about something so close to your heart and personal. I’m sure you’re going to finish this one….good luck! 🙂

  • Cyndi

    Hooray! Good luck on your journey! I’m going NaNo, too, but it’s my first-ever real attempt at fiction. It’s a scary adventure, but thrilling at the same time. 🙂 Cheering for you!

  • Stacy Harris

    It sounds like you are writing something important. And if that is what it takes to write something and get it down, then that is what needs to motivate you. Good job and I look forward to reading it afterwards!

  • It is very important, an incredibly personal topic that I feel I need to write about. You are right that there is no better motivation than feeling a “calling” to say something to the world. Thank you!

  • I’ve written a couple of fiction pieces… three unfinished manuscripts languish on my hard drive as I type this. I do love fiction, and writing a memoir is proving to be more difficult emotionally for sure. Perhaps next year for NaNo, I will get back to fiction.

  • Thank you Melanie! I can be awfully stubborn and I’m not going to let this topic (and the grief that it brings about) unseat me… closing in on 8,000 words this evening!

  • Absolutely, it is very emotionally draining. I’m doing my best to stay focused… eye on the prize, sort of. I feel so confident that I will feel better once I have these feelings and memories written down, recorded so I won’t have to worry that I will forget them.