‘Juno’, Jason Reitman (2007)

Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.

I believed the lies that the darkness spoke, and I tried to take my life.

Some days it is still a struggle. Some days the love is dim and seems far away. Some days I grow discouraged and feel defeated. Some days I still want to leave this world (and all its tribulations) behind. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and I hold onto hope. I talk to those around me. I get a good night’s sleep. A new day dawns. I feel better.

I didn’t have to die for the pain to stop.

You don’t have to either.

—  Jennifer Wilson, “I Didn’t Want to Die

At the psychiatric hospital, I was surrounded by people whose experiences were much like mine. I heard familiar stories. I learned new ways to cope. I realized that I had options. Most importantly, however, I saw that I was not alone.

I got help.

I got a proper diagnosis and was put on medication that worked like a shaft of light into my weary, befuddled brain. This did not happen overnight. It took some time to find the right dosages and the correct prescriptions, but I persevered. I held onto hope that the right antidote to the darkness could be found.

I didn’t want to die.

I only wanted the pain to stop.

And it did.

Slowly but surely, with therapy and time, it did.

I am here today to plead with you: Don’t give up.

—  Jennifer Wilson, “I Didn’t Want to Die

I drank the sludgy charcoal grit from a paper cup as I lay on the gurney and wept.

I didn’t want to die.

I only wanted the pain to stop.

The darkness was so thick. I could not see my children. I could not see the life I had made with the man I had chosen twenty-five years earlier. I could not see my family, the siblings who knew me from birth, the parents who held me since before I could remember. I could not see my friends, who would have willingly grieved with me and encouraged me if only I had let them.

I could not see the love.

There was love all around me, but it was pushed away by the darkness, forcefully evicted from my consciousness by the suffocating black.

—  Jennifer Wilson, “I Didn’t Want to Die
Didn’t Win NaNoWriMo? Here Are 3 Reasons to Celebrate

Everyone has a different NaNoWriMo experience. We’ve asked some wonderful NaNoWriMo writers to share theirs, and what they’ve learned. Today, Jennifer Wilson, author of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, tells us why she’s still glad she participated in NaNoWriMo… even if she didn’t win:

A friend first challenged me to try NaNoWriMo in 2009, and I’ve managed to win twice since—in 2009 and 2013. After a lot of editing, the novel I wrote in 2013 was published by Crooked Cat Publishing as Kindred Spirits: Tower of London in October 2015—an absolute dream come true. Given this recent success, I was really motivated to go for NaNoWriMo this year. 

I’m definitely a planner, and I started reading and researching my new cast of characters back in the summer, aiming to draft a follow-up to my 2013 effort. Sadly, as my notes started mounting up, so did the to-do list at my day job. As November 1 crept up, in truth, I began to worry.

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