This month I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. ideally, the writer begins with a fresh story, but I have a book I’ve already started to write that I really need to finish. So, I started where I was, opened a new document, and went for it. What I didn’t take into consideration was that jumping from the dark paranormal manuscript I just polished to a light story would be quite a jarring experience. My muse balked, and I had to spend time convincing her to help me.
To finish on time, I “should” be around 35,000 words. Actually, I’m closer to 8,000. To catch up, I’d have to write 4,000 words every day between now and the 30th. I don’t see that happening, but I’ll try my best. So what if I don’t win? I’ll still have a bunch more words than I did. I’ll just keep going into December.
There was a time, not that long ago, that I would have been beating myself up, feeling like a looser, working way too hard to try to catch up—and still not getting there. More guilt. More feeling bad about myself. What good would that do. By relaxing and being proud I’ve gotten this far, I’ll actually get more done.
This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. I do. I write six, many times seven, days a week. I want a career in fiction, and I’m not afraid of working long, hard hours to get there. Many times my body refuses to let me write, even in the recliner. But I do the best I can.
I recently realized that simply pushing and struggling to reach the next goal is no way to live. Reaching a goal is sweeter when you didn’t kill yourself trying to get there.
Do you beat yourself up over not meeting goals? Do you set your goals too high? Do you enjoy the work you do to reach your goals—at least the feeling of accomplishment?
Have a wonderful weekend!
Today I would like to continue talking about the magnificent Moonlight and Magnolias conference held in Atlanta last weekend.
The second workshop I attended was about not letting fear win by Maggie Montgomery. As soon as I walked in I realized two things, Maggie wasn’t your average writer, and I was going to love this workshop. Maggie is a fun person with a wild sense of humor. And she is an amazing speaker who kicked my butt out of the doldrums and into my writers chair.
The first point Maggie made was if what you fear can’t get you killed, incarcerated, or committed, it’s manageable. And you can probably work around the those last two if you have to. Wow. And she’s right. She used our own examples to show us the truth in the words. And somewhere along the line I realized I was looking at writing as second rate over a “real” job. Yikes! That made me a hypocrite—and I hate hypocrites. She put things in a different perspective, that’s for sure. And here I am, at my desk, writing my little heart out.
Thank you, Maggie. I owe you.