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Shhhh, I shouldn’t be here but I’m worried about something….

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I”m currently immersed in the Nanowrimo event: joining with hundreds of thousands others who have committed to writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It’s a brilliant event.

I shouldn’t be here, writing this, because I really ought to be focussed on the book.

I’m in the ‘rebel’ category… because in Nano, they are nice enough to not call us cheaters. Nano is supposed to be about writing a fiction novel, starting November 1. No early starts, no previous novels, just spewing out 50 000 words of fiction.

Me? I’m taking this month to pull together my creative memoir.  It was already 85 000 words, but then I was haunted to change it and include the ‘rest of the story’ .. the part that didn’t seem to fit with the rather curious arrival of enchanted beings in my clay; the part that was rather sad, yet had a magical twist entirely different from the rest of the story.  So,  a whole rewrite was in order…. meaning a good 30 to 40 000 of those first words were going to be tossed or rewritten, and some new sections included.   The first section was finished, but the rest needed a ton of work. Nano has place for rebels not doing fiction or starting fresh and that’s what I’m doing.

My word count went up 11 000 yesterday because one original section hardly needed rewriting and I just cut and pasted it in. That’s how I get to do Nano this year.

My worry?  My worry is that people think I’m heroically writing 50 000 words while still in treatment for breast cancer. I’m worried that people might say to some other person in treatment, “I know a woman who wrote a whole novel in a month while in treatment.”  So, I’m here just clarifying something….

I actually could not have started with a blank page and written 50 000 words this month. My fingertips hurt, my nails are sensitive – both side effects of chemo. I cannot comfortably sit still for long without my weird muscle pains becoming worse. My brain cannot stay focussed for sheesh… 5 minutes, at best, before I find myself wandering to other thoughts, the kitchen, or a game on facebook.  And that’s me after the most difficult part of my treatments is over, and the current one has less side effects.

So.  I’m not heroicallly doing nanowrimo. I wouldn’t encourage anyone in treatment to tackle nano in the traditional sense. That would be crazy. I’m “just sayin’ ” so some poor soul doesn’t think she/ he should have the energy and oomph to write a novel in a month, or something similarly extensive, while in active cancer treatment.

Kay, that’s off my chest. Now back to the book. Or the kitchen. Oh wait, is that snow outside?


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

3 responses »

  1. I almost did it but I’m illustrating a children’s book while going through chemo and radiation so didn’t want to add one more. And don’t apologize for “cheating”. You’re still writing the novel, whether it’s from scratch or not. Be proud of your work and don’t diminish it! You’re working hard, whether it’s rewriting or writing from scratch.


    • Sorry to hear you are going through treatments, Susan Lee. Yay to writing a children’s book! If you ever get ‘stuck’ on that project.. next steps to publish or anything, let me know. I might have some thoughts to help that happen.
      Thanks for encouraging words. I do feel like I am accomplishing something very important to me with this book I’m working on during Nano.
      Wishing you magical healing!


    • ps. have we met on



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