Home » Adult ADD / ADHD » I’ve Got NaNo On My Mind . . . and . . . Is “Wanting” A Sign Of Good Mental Health?
October 5, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

I’ve Got NaNo On My Mind . . . and . . . Is “Wanting” A Sign Of Good Mental Health?

So, while asking myself whether I should or shouldn’t participate in NaNoWriMo this year, because I’ve got a lot on my plate, getting ready for my move early next year, I’ve also been planning my novel.

I guess that’s my answer.

It’ll be my seventh NaNoWriMo, and hopefully my third win.  It’s become such a part of my Fall every year that it’s automatic to start thinking about it a lot around August or early September, and by October, if not before, I’m planning.

I have this whole series that I’ve been working on for, oh, four years, I think.  I’ve started the first two novels in the series, but haven’t finished either one yet, and I’ll be starting the third on November 1st.  It probably seems weird to start the third when I haven’t finished the first two yet, and well, I guess it is.  I have a database, though, with time lines and story lines and research notes and character details and plans, including the titles and basic story lines of all ten of the novels that will be in the series.  I have notes on problems I need to work out, to make my characters and plots make more sense.  I have inter-connectedness between my main characters, as well as several secondary ones, and notes on how they will evolve over time.

And after November . . . well, more specifically, after my move . . . I want to work on finishing those first two and the third, before next year’s NaNoWriMo.  The following year, I can concentrate on editing and beginning the search for an agent.  But first things first.  They have to be written.

For most of my life, I’ve been a person who started things and didn’t finish them.  Since my first NaNo win in 2008, followed by my ADD diagnosis and getting started with medication in 2009, and three-plus years of therapy during all that, I’ve begun to learn what it feels like to finish things I’ve begun and to overwrite beliefs about (and expectations of) myself.

Finishing a novel, though, and moving on to the editing process, is scary to me.  It’s something I have no existing frame of reference for, in my own life experience.  It’s almost easier to keep starting and procrastinating about finishing.  Or, maybe the more accurate phrase is simply “more familiar”, rather than “easier”.

I want completed novels, though.  I want that new experience.  I want to discover what it feels like to move to the editing process.  I want to be able to take myself seriously when I say I’m a writer.  I want for others to be able to take me seriously as a writer.

Eventually, I want to begin publishing my series.  I want my characters to be characters that strangers will want to get to know.  I want to make strangers feel emotions as a result of my words.  I want them to laugh, or cry, or feel creeped-out by one of my antagonists.  I want one of my characters to remind a stranger of someone he or she has known, or maybe even him- or herself.  I want strangers to turn the pages because they have to know what will happen.

I want this group of characters, who I have become so fond of, to entertain others as well, with their quirks and unique personalities and interactions with one another.

I’ve noticed that lately, I’ve been using a lot of sentences that begin with the words, “I want”.  I find that interesting, and I think it’s a healthy thing.  I used to tell my therapist that I didn’t want to want, because to me that was futile and just a reminder, to me, of more of what I would never have.  But for some reason, wanting feels safer, now.  I think that is because fulfilling my wants feels possible.


  1. Comment by Asher Kade:

    I wasn’t aware you were writing a novel. Please contact me, as I have a lot of insight about it.
    Good luck—so excited for you!!!

  2. Comment by davidrochester:

    I think wanting things is extremely healthy, and a sign of the 180-degree turn you’re doing in how you look at your life. Keep on!

    • Comment by lifeischange:

      Yes, there has been a huge change in how I am looking at things, hasn’t there? Some days, it feels kind of like . . . 720 degrees . . . that would be turning in circles, right? Other days, I forget how I used to think/feel/be, until something subtly reminds me and I’m shocked.

      Still a ways to go, though, yet . . .

      But yeah, wanting is a good thing, now.


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