November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as #NaNoWriMo. Though I have been a passionate writer for many years (it’s hard to believe that the first edition of Shibari You Can Use first came out in 2010 and I’ve been blogging since 1998), I’ve never participated.
This year, I have decided to change this. I have a few partially written books, and I’m using #NaNoWriMo as an opportunity to work on my book on self love, tentatively entitled My Partner, Myself: Becoming Your Own Friend and Life Mate. It all began with me hearing about the notion of getting married to one’s self, and me choosing to do so in a ceremony 8 years ago. Though it is not a novel, my hope is that this month, and the support from others participating in #NaNoWriMo will give me a chance to dive in deep.
If you are participating in #NaNoWriMo I invite you to add me as a buddy, and I’ll do so in return so that we as writers can support one another. Have you always wanted to write that novel you’ve had in mind? #NaNoWriMo is a great excuse to do so.
As a sneak peek, here is an early draft of the start of the introduction. Enjoy, and see you at the end of the month (for my 39th birthday).
I’ve known my partner for a long time.
I’ve know them since they were born, perhaps before. I was there when they scraped their knee for the first time, and had their first kiss. I laughed out loud when they listened to hilarious jokes, and curled up like a ball inside when heartbreak came. My heart swelled with pride when they got great grades against all odds, and took long walks with them when they needed to think. Heartache, colds, fears, joy, delight, loss, delicious meals, perfect sunsets – I’ve been there for it all.
My partner, myself.
We’ve all been acquainted with ourselves our whole life, but for many of us, we don’t really have an awareness of who we are. At the core, at our Self. The many faces of who we are, and the longings we have, are often unconscious thanks to a culture that has given us an unhealthy relationship with our body, our desires, our authentic experiences in this world.
My own journey has taken me into a place of having to meet myself, greet myself, and form a deep relationship with myself. It took me a long way to get there, and I get to know myself more all of the time. Why is this so important? Because there have been wide swaths of my life where I didn’t know myself, and more than that, didn’t like me. Both of these things led me to make choices I might not have otherwise, and took away chances I might have had to be fully present with the beautiful being that I have come to learn that I am.
There are so many of us that spend more time getting to know others, and their desires, than we do ourselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never let another person say to us. We treat our bodies in ways that we’d never treat anyone else. Why? Because when we don’t know someone, it’s easier to ignore who they are as human beings, as people with needs, wants, dreams, and desires. And it is time that we did so.