I have survived Nanowrimo this year, more or less intact. This is an annual exercise for me and my friends. We use the motivation that Nano provides to get out the first drafts of many of our novels. We use it to finish up works that we need to just buckle down and write. It’s not just for November, either. There are year round resources and information you can access with Nano, not to mention their Camp Wrimo and meet ups. I highly encourage you to check it out if you are the writing type.
This year, my Nano project was my grandfather’s story; Fair to Middling; a very difficult topic since my grandfather passed two years ago around Thanksgiving. I’ve got videos and letters and a whole assortment of notes that I’ve been combing through. Not to mention the memories.
I want to say that everything for this Nanowrimo went perfectly. I want to say that I sat down, had butt in chair time and pounded out 1,667 words every day.
Life doesn’t happen like that.
Instead, there was an incessant buzz of adult responsibilities that distracted me from my writing. I was sick for a good week or so. We had conventions and book signings. A major recall happened on my car and there’s been a constant upheaval with our transportation. My day job has been keeping me later and later. Family has been pulling at my sleeve. The upcoming holidays and all the worry that comes along with it. The constant nagging that I still had to do things before I could write. Getting over that feeling is the hardest thing. After that, you have to convince yourself that the words you are diligently putting on the page do, in fact, make sense when strung together in a sentence. You have to ignore the little doubts crowding your head and trust that what you are writing is not complete and utter crap.
This year, I did make my word count, but only just. It was a hard-fought win. There’s still a little bit more to go in the story, but it shouldn’t take me that long before I can start editing.
All of this rambling is to make a certain point: Life will get in the way of your dreams. It will distract you, it will do its best to disillusion you, and it will try to legitimize the doubts that you aren’t good enough.
Your job is not to let it. Your job is to fight for your dreams and to achieve your goals.
It’s the only way you won’t live full of regret.
Keep fighting for what you want. Make a life on your terms, not everyone else’s.