One of the things I want to focus on this year while doing Nanowrimo is making sure I do not lose myself while finding my writing. In years past I have found it nearly impossible to maintain other aspects of my life while also achieving the word count goals. Nutrition has long been a struggle for me in everyday life. I have battled weight concerns as well as body image issues for years. While I have gotten better I still reach for candy and comfort food anytime I have a spare moment or random emotion.
Eating through my emotions has been a coping mechanism for me since I was a little kid. Back then it wasn't a big deal because I was extremely active. Between dance classes, swim practice, soccer games and just running around the playground with my friends I burned more calories in one day than I could eat in two or three. As I got older I began to slow down on my activity level but the food consumption just increased. It got to the point that anytime I would stress out about anything, celebrate an accomplishment though that one became significantly less common, or even just watching television for an hour I had to have food. It was just how I dealt with things.
A few years ago I turned back to my passion of writing so when I had additional time during the day I would open my computer. Writing replaced food as a time filler but I still find that when I finish the draft of a new book or am dealing with the self doubt that can come with submissions or book shows I will look for something to snack on. Because of this I am doing my best to introduce new aspects to the Nano process this year.
I have my day job which is important of course and my word goals to achieve but this year I am using apps on my phone to track my food and exercise to try and incorporate healthier living in with the rest. I track what I am eating so I can keep myself healthier which makes it easier to write, workout, get through my day job and focus on my writing. In times of stress if I cannot concentrate on writing I am doing my best to go to the gym instead of reaching for the ever present bag of potato chips or ice cream.
They are small things that can have a huge impact. I am hoping that while I am going through Nano it will be difficult to adjust to such a schedule and introduce these new aspects of my life I will ultimately be able to make it a permanent part of my writing life. I am curious if anyone else has ever decided to incorporate new ideas during Nano or other busy times in their lives and had it work out that the changes are positive and permanent.