Writing has been a large part of my life for a long time. The first story I remember writing was about a young turtle who lost his beloved mother. When I turned in my story, the teacher was surprised to find out my story was not one, but three pages long, more than the mandatory one page assignment we were given, and more than what any of the students in my class ever turned in.
Fast forward to my life now as an adult. I currently hold a degree in English and a minor in Film and Television. As much as I have almost detested and abhorred the subject during my last four years of college, I know that English and writing will always be something I have a passion for. When verbal language failed me, written language enlightened me. Now that all I ever hope now is to go back to the roots of that passion I had when I was a child and write from the heart.
This is why I am doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those that don’t know NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is an event that challenges folks to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Learn about it on their website, here. Crazy, right? Of course, as a budding writer, I have been wanting to do this ever since I entered the world of the internet, but never had the time or motivation to complete it.
Since I won’t be traveling too much this month, I have decided to write these check-in posts to assess my progress with NaNoWriMo, to motivate and challenge myself to continue, and to take a break from the massive amounts of fantasy writing that I’ll be doing this month. If you’re interested to learn more about my journey of NaNoWriMo, you’re more than welcome to keep reading.
Leading up to NaNoWriMo, I didn’t prep as much as I wanted to. It was mostly spent brainstorming, finessing the details of what I wanted to write and why I wanted to write, and then writing a rough and sloppy outline before finally diving in to writing on November 1st. Surprisingly, the first two days were quite successful. I achieved the 1.6K daily goal pretty easily those first two days.
Then the third and fourth day came and…it completely tanked. All because of my social life. That aspect of my life has already been going downhill since I started working a full-time job, so naturally when the opportunity came to hang out with several of my old college friends, I seized the chance. By the time the fourth day rolled in, I was about 4,000 words behind.
At first, I was berating myself for losing my focus and self-motivation, and would compare myself to people who already have 10K words under their belt. But after awhile I realized–I don’t regret it. Yes, taking the time to write is important for creative writers, but there has to be a balance. Burn out is very real in every aspect of life. Do not forego the necessities to pursue your dreams, or else you won’t be capable of pursuing your dreams at all. Self care is important. If that means taking a break from writing to nap or do laundry or hit up a friend, then do it! For me being around people and friends who are just as motivated and passionate fuels my drive to keep doing this.
As of now I am still 2,207 words behind, but I have already written 1.6K words today and I still have a lot of energy left to finish up those 2K words. I’m not giving up. Yes I will admit it’s a tougher challenge when you try to maintain other aspects of your life, but it is a challenge that we all have to face. And it is more than manageable to do.
To all my NaNoWriMo friends, forge on and write on! And to people who are interested in what I’m doing–thank you. I don’t share my passions enough and I feel this is one way I can break out of that shell and continue doing what I really love to do.