Three Houses Press has challenged resident authors Grace Barnes and Meg Hayes to take on Nanowrimo. Every Tuesday, they will share their progress, expressing their successes, failures, and lessons learned.
I HAVE WORDS! Not many, and it is certainly far short of what I should have, but they exist! Is it a major victory? No. But it is a victory nonetheless.
During this past week, as I stressfully hobbled together some words, my husband and I got into conversations about my writing process, including what works for me and what doesn’t. In the process, I realized that I am at my best when I am a trash human. As a trash human, I am always mildly drunk; not so drunk that things get weird, but just drunk enough to feel loosey-goosey and uninhibited by things like “common sense” or “my brain.” Pants are optional. Hygiene is optional. Pizza and delivery is encouraged–just throw on a pair of pants when you hear the doorbell ring.
For some reason, I log my best writing sessions when I am a trash human. I guess it comes down to the total lack of interruptions. Trash humans do not care about laundry, allowing themselves to walk away from a chapter when they hear the buzz of the washing machine. Nor do they care about going to the grocery store, dusting, or doing any of those little things that give us, as writers, any excuse to not sit down and get things done. Instead, the trash human has one purpose: write.
The problem with being a trash human is that you are literally forfeiting everything about your life that makes it productive, healthy, and socially acceptable. You can’t be a trash human everyday without eventually finding yourself grossly dehydrated, starved for human contact, and covered in a Cheeto dust tan.
So, the compromise I have found is that I schedule my trash human days. I set aside time so that I feel okay with not doing anything other than write. I enter that day hydrated, exercised, and with a (reasonably) clean house. My husband knows that I am not going to be cute that day, let alone the homemaker-wannabe I sometimes pretend to be. The next day, I get up, I shower, and I get back into a normal schedule, just with a few more words on a document. The balance, I have found, works for me more than carving out a mere hour here and there.
I see a few more days of being a trash human on the horizon. By next week, I hope to be caught up. We’ll see.
From the Diary of Meg Hayes:
This journey thus far has been an exercise in futility. My plan to wake up an hour early and write before work? What a joke. I’m not a morning person. No amount of coffee will ever help me function before 8AM. Quite frankly, I’m not a goal person. I’m a Hufflepuff. We show up and like to help, but we’re not ambitious like Slytherins or overachievers like Gryffindors. So please stop sending me daily emails that just make me feel like a lazy, inadequate lump and let me continue to float adrift in a sea of lost words.