So, I've already decided to participate in NaNo from a cheerleading perspective only. Lots of love to all those brave souls getting in on the action, but I have a manuscript to polish, up here in my hermit hut.
I have also been snookered into another, completely unrelated challenge in the coming month - a thing my adorable but perhaps a bit unhinged aunt has dubbed No Sugar November.
The concept is making the month sugar free to whatever degree suits your lifestyle and will power. I recently left a part time job that required a lot of walking around to be home making art and writing all day, which is lovely, but also much too sedentary. I fully support us writerly and artistic types taking the time to take care of ourselves. Writing and art making are careers with a fairly strong association with decidedly unhealthy lifestyles, including untreated depression, alcoholism, addiction to opiates, amphetamines, tobacco, basically any method of being especially self destructive.
Us kid lit writers seem to have evaded that long and sordid history of creative brilliance coupled to personal misery and tragedy. I rather like our tradition of demonstrating a creative and yet healthy life. I've learned how to find the hidden sugar in a lot of foods, and to prepare foods that I somehow came to believe only came from jars or frozen bricks. Since I became a parent, I've been an active food label reader, and I've made a serious commitment to limiting the processed food and unnecessary additives in our everyday meals.
However, I eat waaaay to much sugar. Candy, ice cream, soda, cookies, pie, tarts, scones, muffins, and the list goes on into the sunset.
So to that end, I've decided to try this experiment my dear aunt has proposed, and remove the sugar-based items from my diet for a few weeks. I'm not a dieting kind of person, really. I've had at most a tertiary curiosity about the concepts of eating Paleo or Adkins or Juicing or whatever the thing is at the moment that's going to save/kill us all. I see problems with cutting whole food groups from your diet, except of course in cases of allergies. I don't really see a problem with cutting back on the raw tonnage of oreos or hershey bars I manage to put down in any given week.
My only hesitation is my dear, beloved coffee. I'm getting a little misty just thinking about it.
I love my stupid flavored creamers. Love them. Cutting back on the caffeine would probably be pretty good for me, too, but to think about a whole month without a cup of coffee... that just seems mean. Especially when I have a manuscript to revise!
I'm giving it a shot anyway. With a one day pumpkin pie exemption, of course.