And just like that....it's December. And the first Wednesday of the month, which means IWSG time! If you're interested in joinin...

It's December?!



And just like that....it's December. And the first Wednesday of the month, which means IWSG time! If you're interested in joining the fun or want to know more, visit their website.

Today's question:
As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?
Well this question is kind of perfect for what I wanted to write about anyways. If you read last month's post or follow me on Instagram or FB, you likely know that I participated (and completed woop!) in NaNoWriMo this year. I finished out the month with 51,597 words. Is it done? Helllll no. Just as I anticipated, it is a giant mess of a first draft. It's 99 pages of word vomit, no joke. It's definitely not what I want it to be yet, but there are glimmers of it in all that word vomit. It will be raw. It will be real. And it could make you cry, laugh, and likely say "ewwww" more than once.  But undoubtedly your next question is the one I kept being asked by anyone I mentioned NaNo too....what am I writing about?

More than once that question caught me off-guard. Not because it's a weird question, duh it's totally obvious. But for some silly reason, I hadn't given a whole lot of thought to the fact that if I told people I was doing this, they'd want to know what I was writing about. Well, I am writing the story of my eating disorder, from its deceptive beginnings to its defeat. Despite my openness about it on this blog and social media, it's not something I actually talk with very many people about.

I didn't realize just how uncomfortable it was to talk about until I told a few people. Weird how it's so much easier for me to write about these things than to say them out loud. Not that it's easy to write about either, but it's a whole lot less easy to talk about it. Guess I'll have to add giving a speech about it to my I-do-NOT-want-to-do-this-so-I-guess-I-have-to-do-it-someday bucket list.

Writing this story has been painful, emotional, and insanely difficult. More than once I wanted to quit because "WHY am I putting myself through this?!" But then I'd remember a few important things. Like that I need to do it. For my fellow eating disordered peeps but also for myself. I can't really explain why, but for some reason it feels like closure for a long open wound. And if something is really hard, maybe that's a good reason to do it.

So as I look back at 2017, I see plenty of successes and failures of course. The recent NaNo experience being freshest in my mind, is a combination of both success and failure. I'm proud because I did it, I actually made myself write my first draft. Something I didn't anticipate actually doing this decade even. But it also feels like a step back because reliving this shitty experience over and over again so I can write it is like violently ripping open that still healing wound. But I know I'm better for it. If I could backtrack, I'd probably think twice about who I told I was participating in NaNo. Or at least mentally prepared myself for saying it out loud more than once. Watching people's looks of surprise, confusion, and sympathy was well...uncomfortable.

There were many other successes and failures this year. Figuring out my gut issues was a whole lot of failure for a long time, but looks like it's coming out as a success finally, yay! Vacationing in Belize, huge success. Continuing to kick ass at work. Always working hard to be a good mom and wife. Making big progress with my depression. Sure there's stuff that could've gone differently, but I prefer not to dwell on that hindsight bullshit. Obviously if you'd known how things would turn out, you'd do them different. But that defeats the purpose of life. We don't know how our lives are going to turn out. All we have is right now. So let's just enjoy right now.

In case I don't make time for another post this month, Happy Holidays my dear reader. You are awesome for being here and reading my ramblings. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


10 comments:

  1. Hello Melanie. I think it's brave to write about where you have been and you will help so many people. Congratulations on completing NaNo, even if the draft was ready. I think that's always the case with any first draft and I wish you much luck as you continue to polish it up. I agree, enjoy the now. SOmetimes we worry about things we can't change and it festers and gets worse. May your every 2018 wish and dream come true.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Erika! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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  2. That's a great word count. It's okay if your first draft is crap. Getting it down first is always the first goal. Now you can perfect it through revising and rewriting. Good luck! :)

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    1. Thank you Chrys! I see A LOT of editing in my future haha!

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  3. Erika and Chrys are right, Melanie. You had the power to overcome something others still struggle with. This could be a powerful story. More power to you. And Bravo for winning NaNo. See. I couldn't even compete in NaNo because of my blasted interior editor. Enjoy your holidays! You deserve it.

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    1. Thank you Victoria! Shutting off my internal editor was a HUGE challenge. I had to constantly remind myself that I wouldn't meet my goal if I started editing right away. Thanks for reading!

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  4. You are writing it because your story will help others. You will be that person who says 'I get it, I've been there, and there's hope.'
    I'm not much for speaking either, but I have a feeling that will come into your future when that book is published.

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    1. Thank you Alex! That's a scary thought but I could see you being right! 😁

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  5. Good for you. What you're doing isn't easy, but who knows how many others you might help? Keep moving forward!
    Thank you for participating!
    Heather
    Co-host, IWSG

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    1. Thank you Heather! That's what I tell myself everytime I want to chicken out. If I can help even 1 person it's worth it. Thanks for reading!

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