Well, it’s safe to say that I completely failed at Write 31 Days for a second year in a row. Although to be fair and a little less negative, I did complete one more day this year than I did last year. So that’s a win.
I ended up drafting a few ideas and failed to be organized enough to see it through. I also realized that my idea was far more emotionally challenging than I expected.
As much as I love to write, I’m finding it to be more of a challenge to commit to a writing schedule. It’s hard finding time when I run a business for the majority of my week and also work two other part time jobs on the weekends. Plus I have a middle school aged child and book club and, and, and….
It’s so easy to find excuses not to make the time to write.
About a week before the end of October, as I was lamenting my inability to uphold a commitment to myself, yet again, I decided that I was going to do something about my writing. I took on an even bigger challenge than Write 31 Days: I committed to NaNoWriMo.
I’m pretty sure that makes me crazy.
Thanks to an amazing coach and support from one of the writers I met in H&L Writes, Sandra Hults, I got excited about NaNo, despite thinking about maybe doing it back when I first started this blog in 2005. I had no idea what in the hell I was going to write about, even up to the moment I sat down to write the first words (in NaNo speak, that makes me a Pantser) of this novel I had committed to writing in a month.
The first few days, thanks to Sandra’s amazing coaching skills and the cheerleaders from some fellow H&L Writers who had joined, were really easy. I was blowing through my daily quota with ease and I was thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I got this.”
That excitement lasted for about a week.
Then I had a day that was incredibly busy and as I crashed into bed at 11:00 pm, I realized I had not written a thing. I contemplated getting up and spending some time writing, but my body just didn’t want to cooperate. The next two days were equally busy and I didn’t write.
Before I knew it, 5 days had gone by and I hadn’t written a word. And it was easy for me to just stop writing because I still wasn’t sure what the hell I was writing and that it just didn’t matter anyway.
But the guilt of missing all of Write 31 days got to me and I sat down and put some more words on the page. And then I didn’t write for another 8 days.
I could have just as easily given up a second time, but I was determined to get it done, no matter how shitty my first draft ended up being. I committed to hitting my 50,000 word goal before the month was out. Having missed almost half the month, I now had to write upwards of 3400 words a day to finish on time.
Some days were a real struggle and others came with just as much ease as the first week did. I had a couple of marathon writing nights, but I did it. I won NaNoWriMo 2018.
I still can’t believe that I did it. I’m not sure if what I put on paper will actually become anything, although in my late-night delirium a few nights ago, I came up with a whole twist that I really loved and think I could run with. So we’ll see. I’m going to put it on the shelf for a couple of months and then come back to it.
Now that I’m not busy with that, it’s my hope that a much more regular writing practice is in the cards for the future.