I’ve never finished NaNoWriMo. I don’t think I’ve ever even lasted two weeks.
I want to do it this year, though.
I miss writing. It used to be my life. I majored in creative writing at a fine arts high school; our program was on an MFA level. But after graduation, I wrote less and less until I wasn’t writing at all. I’ve written a handful of poems in the eight years since, and that’s it. I just don’t have ideas anymore. I don’t have sparks.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to write a memoir about the time I spent at Riggs. I know I’ve mentioned it in passing here, but I haven’t gone into much detail. I feel like I should–like I need to tell this story, and maybe once I’ve told it, then I’ll be able to tell other stories again.
Riggs was, thus far, the most transformative period of my life. It was an incredibly painful experience–truly being seen by yourself and others is inevitably painful. But it was also the first time I felt truly connected. I think being seen is essential to form real connections. Those connections held me while I struggled with ambivalence and finally chose to live.
The hard part about writing this story is that I’ve lost my memory. There are bits and pieces, but they’re disjointed, non-linear. I scribbled down bullet points of memories in my journal, four pages worth. Maybe I’ll write them each down, then put them in order and connect them all later. I do have boxes of papers, appointment cards, a day planner. And I blogged most of it at my old Livejournal account, though a lot of that is my feelings more than the events. (Also, I’m somehow afraid to go and reread them.)
So I’m going to try this for NaNoWriMo. I know a memoir isn’t technically a novel, but I suspect the gods of literature will forgive me.