Happy December everybody! It feels great to be back!
It’s been a crazy busy November, with a lot more at stake than the vast number of men who decided to only grow out their facial hair. On top of all the stress that comes with preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, this month I spent a week traveling for work, dedicating most of my time to the largest supercomputing conference of the year.
Unfortunately, that meant that I couldn’t devote more time to National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). But after doing the math, I realized that I clocked in 30,000 words for only 17 days worth of writing! If I had every day at my disposal, I would have met the 50,000 quota without a hitch.
Of course, “would have” doesn’t mean anything. But to summarize the 30-day journey I took, here’s some insights I realized along the way:
- You should be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small. NaNoWriMo was that push I needed to make writing a habit, not just a hobby. 30,000 words is a heck of a lot more than the zero I would have written without the challenge. Setting weekly or monthly writing goals will encourage me to stay on track throughout the year.
- Pay yourself first. Obviously, in order of priority (not over work, for example), but if you have a passion, make time for it before the rest of your life takes over. Just like I learned that I should treat saving money as another mandatory bill, I learned to respect writing as a more important use of my spare time than checking Facebook.
- Don’t get in your own way. With a 50,000 word goal, you can’t afford to wait for inspiration to come to you. It was difficult to turn off my inner critic, but I couldn’t let my urge to edit and erase keep me from putting words to paper. First, get it written; then, get it right.
- Support is more vital than you think. Writing can often be a lonely, solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Meeting my fellow Wrimos in my regional group made the endeavor much more exciting and fulfilling. It was fun to surround myself with other people who loved writing as much as I do, and I hope to continue attending write-ins in the future. Not to mention, I would never have achieved as much as I did if I didn’t have my loved ones cheering me on. If people mock you for your goal, whatever it may be, eliminate them from your life, pronto!
So whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, training for a marathon, learning a new language, or trying to lose weight, just keep on keeping on! No matter what happens, you’ll thank yourself for it!
So if you were a Wrimo this year, how did you do? What did you learn? Let’s share success stories! Also check back soon for my “Catching Fire” review!