National Novel Writing Month

That’s right. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Isn’t that exiting? I’m going to track my progress on my blog so I can stay accountable. Wish me luck!

If you’ve never done NaNo and you enjoy writing, you should try it. The first time I participated, I decided on November 1 to do it. It helped me to become a better writer because I wasn’t terrified to let the words out to play anymore. I didn’t second guess everything that I put on the paper.

pantsher_badgeI don’t really have any sort of a plan when I write. I am what is known as a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants, usually starting out with nothing more than an idea and a belief that everything will work out alright. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

This year I have a little bit more than just an idea. I’ve got an idea and a character! She came to me this morning at 5:00. I was very pleased to meet her and look forward to our adventures together.

One day I hope to be more of a planner, but I don’t know if I will ever succeed at that. I know that a huge part of writing is outlining, but my brain resists it when it comes to writing fiction. Or maybe my brain just does it while I sleep, waking me up at odd hours to tell me to write stuff down.

Here’s to the month of November, the month of less sleep, more coffee, and wild abandon. This year I WILL succeed at writing 50,000 words and my character’s story will get told. As Chris Baty said, the world needs my novel.

Plus, I love the winner’s shirt. MUST. HAVE. IT. (Here’s a link to it. It’s awesome!)

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Captain, shields are down. We cannot survive another hit.

This week I had one of the worst anxiety attacks that I’ve ever had. It was horrible. I had to take a day off of work after it happened because I was so drained. The worst part about it was that it was in public. I usually can get to some place where nobody sees me melt down. I couldn’t this time.

I am terrified of having another one.

I’ve been trying to figure out why it happened. Why did my carefully placed, meticulously tended shields collapse? How in the hell did the photon torpedo breach the hull and cause a meltdown of the warp drive?

I have had so much change these last two years, from finishing my Master’s degree to changing jobs. Even though they are good changes, they are still changes.

I work with amazing people. They are kind and funny and playful.┬áSometimes I laugh so hard that I lose my breath. We challenge each other to go above and beyond and we do it with humor. We check up on each other. That means so much when you are starting something new and you have no idea how to do it. *shout out to my peeps who won’t read this because they don’t know I blog and, quite honestly, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with them reading it but whatevs*

Collaboration is encouraged but not forced. That’s right… we are encouraged to work together but we aren’t put in a situation where we HAVE to. It’s crazy because there is a hell of a lot more collaboration in this situation. We actually get to work with people who actually want to work together. Our informal meetings don’t turn into hour long bitch sessions about how we hate to be forced to collaborate and about how stupid, irresponsible, lazy, disrespectful, etc., kids these days are. I can choose to work with positive people instead of those who choose to see the bad in everything.

My principal is one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. He truly has his teachers best interests at heart. He works so hard to make things better for us. Unfortunately, he is stuck in the confines of an educational system that is broken. He tries to provide us with as many tools as he can in order to help us get around the system.

On the other hand, I haven’t worked a 9-to-5-in-an-office work schedule in 13 years. I worked more than 8 hours a day when I was a classroom teacher, but I got to spend at least a third of the time at home, on the couch, with my family. I miss sitting next to my daughter, snuggling, as I grade essays. I don’t get to do that anymore. Instead, I sit in my cubicloffice (it’s like a classroom, only much smaller and only one desk and it’s in a cubicle… I actually kind of like it because it allows me to THINK without interruption.) and grade.

I am stuck with a curriculum that I didn’t create and that needs some serious tweaking, in my opinion. I am a firm believer in the idea that, it doesn’t matter how great a teacher is, if the curriculum stinks, students don’t learn. It really, REALLY bothers me that my name is tied to something that I see as faulty.

I have class roll-over every six weeks. That means as soon as I start to get to know my students, I lose them. I know that I will adjust to this, but it’s so hard. I’m so used to having a whole school year to get to know them so I can tailor my curriculum to their needs. Of course, that just brings me back to the curriculum issue.

Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives. I know that I will adjust in time. I’m worried that it will take too long, though. Right now I have to focus on building my shields back up. I’m worried about how long that will take and whether or not I’ll be able to survive that long.

Mostly I’m terrified that the medicine that has worked for so long has stopped working.