At first I wasn’t sure whether or not to post this here, or over on my other blog, http://www.ADHDKristi.wordpress.com After a bit of thought I figured here was probably the place. Along with thousands of other people, I started NaNoWriMo yesterday. I had mixed feelings on participating this year, but since my DD told me she wanted to do it, I gave in and figured what the heck. I had a few projects in the back of my mind, I figured I’d just pick one of them and give it a go. I remember last year, trying for the first time, and how excited I was. I remember not being able to WAIT for midnight to start writing. This year, it just seems I can’t get into it. Maybe in a while I can, but for now, two days in, it just seems like I’m pushing words around on paper (or screen) and my characters are boring robots. I’ve gotten my word count just fine, I’m 5062 words in on the second day, so that’s not a problem. It just all seems so…stale. So lifeless. I can’t get excited about anything I’ve written. I know the trick is to push through it and allow the story to take shape. The rewrite will be where I can remove all the stuff I wrote down before the story actually got started. I’m just not feeling it, and I really, really want to. Does that make any sense at all?
Another thing I have learned in two days is that NaNo just may not be right for an OCD, Anxiety Disorder pre-teen. The first day, she began her story, taunting me with “I’m gonna write more words than you today!” She hit a couple hundred words and hit a brick wall. She couldn’t control her OCD that wanted the sentences to be perfect. She couldn’t control her anxiety over wondering how she was going to write a book. She’d set her word goal at 20,000 words and began having anxiety over feeling “timed.” It was a mess. Then I realized she wasn’t even writing the story she had told me she was writing, and she had realized she was heading nowhere fast because she had no idea what was going on in this story, or how to write this type of story. She scrapped the whole thing, convinced she was going to fail. Then, telling herself that she REALLY wanted to participate in NaNo, she brainstormed another idea. Something more in her comfort zone. She asked for help. I got out notecards and helped her make cards for her main characters. She made a card for the villain and one with a brief summary of her plot. She started writing. In a couple of hours she had 800 words, which was a good start. She seemed proud.
Today she got up and said she wanted to finish up her homework and chores so she could write. Then she kept putting it off. After I began writing for the day, she came to me with feelings of knowing she was going to fail. She knew she had a lot going on right now, and knew she was never going to be able to write enough to reach her goal. She was already twisting herself up in an anxious little knot over it. I told her that just maybe, this type of thing wasn’t for her. Maybe it was too much pressure to “perform” and would take any fun out of writing for her. I knew something “bigger” was bothering her, but knew she would tell me when she was ready. Turns out I was right. She said she likes writing, but feels like she should do what the other kids do in order to fit in. She said she likes writing, climbing trees, and being outside. Her friends like to talk about boys and not much else. We had a long talk about having the right kind of friends – the ones that accepted you even when you liked to do different things than they did. I know that is a rare thing in middle school. We talked about how you could get along with your friends even when you weren’t exactly alike. She talked about missing her best friend who she had a parting of the ways with last year. She said more than anything, she wished they were still friends because they had liked the same things. It was actually being too much alike, I think, that caused the downfall of the friendship, but who knows. I talked to her about being honest with her friend and telling her that she was sorry for what happened, and that she wanted to be friends again. I told her it didn’t mean she wanted to stop being friends with the other girls, and that it was normal to miss someone that you had a lot in common with. She ended up texting her, telling her she was sorry for the fight that broke them up last year, and wanted to know if they could be friends again. She told her she missed hanging out with her, and that she didn’t want to give up her other friends, but she hoped they could be friends again and do things together again. The girl texted back that she would like that. So — I guess all fixed in the pre-teen world? Who knows? All I know is it seems like adolescent angst is kicking in again around here. She’d been doing well for a while. Doctor talked about upping her meds again, but I’m just not sure. I hate to keep upping them. It takes away some of her “spark” each time. Right now though, she just seems like an anxious ball and everything gets on her nerves. It seems like we can’t talk without her getting defensive, or me getting defensive. I know it’s because she’s growing up and I have to learn to let her go. It’s just hard. I do need her to take more responsibility for herself, it’s just that I’ve been doing things for so long, and when she repeatedly forgets it’s just easier for me to give up and do it myself. I have to stop that. I also have to trust her more and let her go.
With me being ADD too, it’s always hard for us to stick to any kind of routine or schedule. I know that we NEED routine, things would go so much smoother around here; it’s just forming one and sticking to it long enough for it to stick is another thing altogether. Okay, so none of the last part of this has anything to do with NaNo.
Earlier I could have sworn she decided that it wasn’t for her. Now here it is almost 11 p.m. and she’s still tossing and turning, and just came to me and said, “Why didn’t I do any writing today?” “I’ll never get my word count if I don’t write!”
When I told her I thought she had decided not to participate, she said, “But I love to write, I’m just bad at it.” When I told her she wasn’t, well, it nearly started yet another episode of the vicious cycle we seem to be on lately. ugh. I also know that part of it has to do with my increased anxiety lately. Why do we take out our anxiety by arguing with the people we are supposed to love the most?
All I know for sure is that we will get over this bump like we always do. Whether or not she finishes NaNo, I can’t say. Whether I start to feel better about my own project, well, we’ll see that too.