Tantrums & Sabotage

I decided months ago that I would do NaNoWriMo. Well, not the part of starting a new novel, but really pounding out some serious word count. I had it all figured out. I’d basically use Write Or Die each night and stay consistent. I could do this.

October 30th I reminded my Husband that November was just two days away. He groaned.

The morning of October 31st I woke with a cough and sore throat. By evening I was well under the grip of congestion and headaches. Not good. I was supposed to hit it off hard! I watched all my friends ready for the starting gun. Me? I limped onto the course late with a bit of outlining and a half empty box of kleenex.

All Friday appointments were called off as account of half the family showing cold symptoms. My sinuses were clogged and sore. I watched my fellow NaNoers in the distance. I had to make some effort. So I pulled up Write or Die and survived 1.4 k. Not ideal, but it was something.

I hardly slept Friday night, fighting to find a comfortable position sitting up. Relatively miserable, I slept in short naps through my freetime on Sat, but thought I was recovering so I just had to be patient.

Saturday night the congestion and pain returned with vengeance. Sunday only one member of my family was deemed well enough to attend church. My headaches were horrible and my whole face hurt.

Monday wasn’t any better and Tuesday my Husband took off work. He looked me in the eyes at one point and assured me that I didn’t have to do NaNo, that it’s okay because I was doing great as a mother.

Was that really it? Was I self sabotaging myself because I didn’t want to write?

Even in a congested haze, I didn’t believe it. I may have internal conflicts, but I’m not just trying to prove my value here. I very much enjoy the creative process of developing a story, of exploring characters. I have struggled with focus lately, but I still love writing.

Acute sinus infection set in. You know, it’s an excellent reminder of how interconnected everything is, especially the face. Everything hurt, including my teeth and jaw. It’s like having having abscesses in three of four corners of your mouth. My eye even hurt with the pressure. My ears ached in the middle of the night. Blood tinged the tissues.

Writing took a serious back seat to the survival instinct and care of my sick family.

A full week into the new month and I’m still sick. I’m doing better, though still in the battle.

After some prayer and searching, my Husband proposed a different logic. What if this is actually just a temper tantrum of the adversary? He’s certainly found in his own efforts that whenever he’s working hard to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand and may be making progress the adversary hits perhaps his biggest weakness, his health. (Growing up, his mother often feared she’d lose him to some illness or allergy.)

So here I am trying to write stories that will touch on eternal truths and resonate with the soul, trying to use the talents entrusted to me in order to be an instrument for good. Why wouldn’t the adversary be royally ticked?

It could be true. It might not be. But this much I do know, I’m not about to be beat. I may or may not beat the 50k this month. It was a pretty tall order before the illness hit. However, I will write and create. I will continue to seek God’s inspiration, guidance and approval as I write, re-write and re-envision.

Flawed and broken as my efforts may be, I will each day look to move forward in faith.


Tonight however, I’m headed to bed before my head explodes.

…now where’d I put that new box of kleenexes?…


About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

2 comments on “Tantrums & Sabotage

  1. Aww, sorry to hear that! Sinus infections are no fun. It’s like a constant migraine, especially when you bend over or stand up suddenly. My mom said when she was a kid and she’d have one, she’d dive to the bottom of the deep end of the pool over and over until she broke it up. Of course, she has a monumental pain tolerance. I only get them in the winter, so that’s not an option. Eat yogurt, brown rice and homemade chicken broth to strengthen your body. And lots of rest. Nobody will judge you if you sit the kids in front of a Netflix cartoon series and hand them the remote.

    • Thanks, Kessie. Diving in the deep end huh? Sounds painful.
      My kids have been watching Netflix and I confess that they usually operate the controls, but I strictly limit amount and what they watch. lol

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