November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo Assertiveness Training

It's National November Writing Month, so this blog will be short. Short but inspired. Thank you NaNoWriMo for teaching me, already in day 3, a few important lessons that I've been working on for the past few years.

Setting boundaries, assertiveness, or otherwise known as - is it NaNoWriMo? No, it's JustSayNO NaNo month... (Well, truth be told, it sounded a lot better in my head while I was taking a short break from my laptop just now.) It's true what they say, "It's a lie to think 'yes, i'll remember that."

Back to the assertiveness training. This month, I have committed (big ginormous lump in throat, afraid to admit it out loud) to the challenge of writing 50,000 fiction words in the semi shape of a novel over the course of November. Yes, this November, yes, NOW. And yes, since you asked, I have finished my word count for the day!

At this second, it is 10:35 p.m., and my cat is scratching desperately at the back door to get out. I know what she wants. She is very clear. Normally this incessant scratching would get me up off the couch. I would do what she wants. (Even though, yes, it's true, there IS a cat door at the front of the house, but still, she does prefer the back door... ). Not today. Need you ask? Really? It's JustSayNO month for me!

Already I have turned down a lucrative proposal to edit a document -extra money, you say, it'll be so easy?  Ha ha. Forget about it! I didn't even have to think about that one. A no brainer.
The new Beaujolais wine with dinner at one of our best friend's houses? Nope, sorry, did you hear me? I did mention that it is NOVEMBER, didn't I? Go without me. (sorry Rob!)

Suddenly, I have this 'Get out of Jail' card - and it's called "words come first" - every thing else (and I mean EVERYTHING) comes later. Or not at all. Even the kids have been forewarned. You will be making your own dinners kids. Or not eating at all. Not fighting about the dishes. You will do them gladly, with a smile. And you will indulge me, your mother, as I have indulged you during your times of need (of which, I obviously did not need to remind them - there were far too many to even remember).

So, I feel (remember, day three only) extremely empowered today. Today, I can say 'No!'
Just try me! You'll see!

If you don't believe me, check out this article from Psychology Today which I just happened to bump into by a psychologist, and as Holden (from Catcher in the Rye) might have said, with a goddamn real PhD, a real doctor for godsake! The Power of No....

image by Hannah Whitaker (taken from said Psychology Today article by Judith Sills, Ph.D)