I recently signed up for Nanowrimo for the first time ever. I thought maybe having a deadline or a goal to work towards would motivate me to write. And I did pretty good…for a day.
As I was writing, I began to really hating my main character’s attitude, which directly affected the quality of writing overall, since it was in first person. Characters don’t have to be good people or even likable, but as an author, you have to like your characters in some way to write them well.
Turns out, my main character was largely based on me and my own personality. Now, I don’t dislike myself, and I don’t even disagree with the things my character was saying. But I knew readers would not see it the way I see it. I was projecting my own whiny feelings onto this character, and honestly, if I read something someone else wrote that sounded so whiny and disjointed, I would probably not continue reading it.
Unfortunately, I realized that those feelings likely stemmed from untreated depression. I’ve dealt with these kinds of feelings all my life, so to me they just seemed like personality traits. Luckily, the day I wrote the beginning of my story was the same day my boyfriend and I discussed seeing a doctor for depression.
So, I am going to stop Nanowrimo this year. I feel it’s important to focus on getting myself to a healthier place before continuing on my projects.