I’ve had several people ask why I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve just moved, I’m settling my parents into my home, and I’m publishing my first novella in a little over a week (cue panic mode), so NaNoWriMo should be the last thing I need to add to my life.
The thing is, I didn’t have any choice this year. It was an act of self-preservation, actually. The characters inside my head started a murderous mutiny, and the only way to fight back was to put them on paper where they belong.
You’d think farm wives, mythical shape shifters, doctors, dancers, preachers, ancient Celts, vampires, Chinese overlords and a kid with club feet really wouldn’t have much in common with each other. You’d think they would stay in their respective worlds living happily in their stories, but they refused. They’ve jumped ship to attack the one thing they have in common: me.
In case you’re wondering, yes, it does get crowded in my little head, but it’s never boring. And, no, I’m not currently on medication, thank you. I’m a writer and multiple personality disorder is just a part of the deal. So long as I write their stories and give them a voice, my characters and I love each other and live in relative peace. The problem began when my husband moved us from Wisconsin to Missouri. And by us, I mean my own large family and my parents. We took two big houses and condensed them into one smaller home, and now we all live happily (mostly) under the same roof. Getting to this somewhat crowded home in Missouri took a year of planning, navigating, boxing, de-junking, tossing out, and hauling. All of which kept me from writing for eleven months.
I left my make-believe friends behind and thought they’d play happily in their sandboxes until I returned. They didn’t, and now my characters have banded together to take their lives back at all costs.
Last month they began an all out attack. They started by invading my life at every turn. Every night I’d face off against a motley mob of my own creation that invaded my dreams. I couldn’t do laundry or shop without a plot twist or new idea running through my head. I’d try to cook and end up burning the food because I was arguing with people that don’t exist anywhere other than my own head.
My husband pretty much hates those characters.
So, to keep the little sanity I have left, I had to start writing again to appease the odd assortment of beings that have invaded my dreams and caused me to burn my dinner. So, I’ve hit NaNoWriMo with the fervor of a person fighting for her life, or at least my family’s dinner.
While the writing challenge is more of a counterattack than personal goal this year, I have to admit it’s still nice to be back to writing. Quite honestly, I’ve missed all those quirky characters.