Taking the Joy Out of Writing: Hating #NAAM or the Adoptee Writer’s Lament

There’s nothing like National Adoption Awareness Month to take the air out of my  tires, the wind out my sails, the spring out of my step,  the joy out of  my  writing.

Yes, I said joy.

I’ve written since I was a kid.   I moved from writing stories about a character I created called Dexter Duck when I was in the 4th grade to my first and only screenplay, written in the 7th grade– a prequel (I guess) to Maverick, about Bret Maverick growing up on a ranch alone and unhappy because his mother died in childbirth.  Oh! Oh!   Can we say projection?  My mom found it and decided it was “dirty,” but I don’t know why.  It’s what Moms do.  I gave up creative writing about that time.

In the real world. Cows in Flight, Columbus’ foremost poetry band. Bringing poetry to the people. Elizabeth Ann James, Bastardette, Fred Anderle, Mike Ditmer.

It gets worse.  Back in the ’80s  I was a prolific poet–a fairly known “regional poet.  I published,  I started a poetry band. I did lots of readings,. I  even got paid   I was no MFA poet. I wrote about James Dean, and Rasputin, outlaws and death and blood.  I did a little bit of rap.  One of my colleagues in the Theatre Department coined me “A Rock n Roll Puss n Boots”  I was never at a loss for words  I went to Russia, lost all interest in poetry , and never wrote another poem. I tried.

Lately, I’ve been doing Lisa Munro’s Shut Up and Write Thursdays which is free, and when I can afford it, her monthly  Inspired Online Saturday workshop. . I highly recommend Lisa.   She’s a ultra cool bastard expat. She talks about bringing joy to writing, and I really felt it.  Strong.

Until NAAM.  I’ve done 30/30 for  NAAM/NanoPoblano. for years.  I never had this problem. before. Some days it was difficult, but I did it. This year. yuk!  My roller has run out of steam. I’ve lost patience with the world, myself, and AdoptonLand. I should blame it on Donald Trumpl  I hope this doesn’t’ end up like poetry.

My steam flop happened because  I’m not working on my major writing projects. The ones that do bring me joy.  The ones I put aside for NAAM.  I’m sitting around the house scrolling through Twitter and Facebook looking for topics God knows there’s enough dreck to write about. Adoption is the gift that just keeps giving and giving. Not much, though, has moved me in the last few days, and I refuse to recycle. I really want to work on my projects, I want NAAM to go away.  NAAM is stealing my joy.

So in case anyone wonders, here are my projects.  They are serious, which means no one will read them, since although I have the education, I don’t carry the corpo credentials it takes to publish. It’s eccentric, but my  big projects are about adoption, but they are what I want to write about. not what my NAAM blood oath dutiifies me write about.

  • Hijacking Language: The False Narrative of Safe Haven Baby  Boxes and Infant Mortality Rates
  • Floating Baby Moses: Problems in Research
  • Oh Dad! Poor Dad! Momma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Bad: Safe Haven Laws and Fathers RIghts
  • Floating Baby Moses: The Ohio Story

I have other related topics that I haven’t started except in earlier blogs.

Some of these projects are new; others have their genesis in conference presentations. They are all in pretty good shape. at least until I go over them. There is always something new to add or God forbid, I got it wrong. Last month I added 1000 words to an introduction since I realized that the Dear Reader if there is one, will have no idea what I’m talking about without it.

Until NAAM,  I felt my joy;.   I’d get up early, excited about what I would write.each day.  I turned up my Techno soundtrack-for-life and pushed it.. I was turning into Hamilton:

I’ll write my way out

Write everything down, far as

I can see

I’ll write m way out

Overwhelm them with


Now, I just want to stay in bed and catch up on Days of Our Lives and watch Hannibal for the first time, and Norwegian Noir.. 

Every Bastard in Good Standing hates NAAM for their own reasons. I hate it for stealing my joy in writing.

3 Replies to “Taking the Joy Out of Writing: Hating #NAAM or the Adoptee Writer’s Lament”

  1. I would read all 4 of your projects you listed above. I’m not a “writer” but I used to write a lot (for myself), so I can understand losing the joy of writing. I think taking time to not write and drown yourself in tv is sometimes a healthy necessary escape from all the heavy feelings. I hate NAAM too. It’s stupid. I’m rooting for you so I can keep reading your insights. Thanks for writing.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Melissa. I’ve usually seen NAAM as an opportunity, and I believe that our voices are heard much more than in the past. But boy, this year, it just got to me. At least there are only 12 more days to go. I’m a fast writer, but it still eats a lot of time, especially with weird computer problems. Something that should take a couple of minutes takes a couple of hours. So, I will keep on keepin’ on. The battleis far from over.

  2. Pingback: nano seconds – No Talent For Certainty

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