Showing Up And Writing (An Additional Thought)

Writing is a difficult process at the best of times for so many people, there is a reason so many say that they can’t write or don’t have time to write or don’t feel like it. Because if you life is chaotic or work sucks or you can’t find motivation it is next to impossible. And for many the ability to write really is tied to their mood and their surroundings. I’ve spent the better part of a week away from home to see family, and writing during that time was next to impossible. I berated myself for my failure to write despite the reason I was there would stop most from writing anyway and anyone would understand this.

But instead of cutting myself slack I find myself berating myself for my failure. I went from roughly 1500-2000 words a day to zero. And between the heat and seeing family I’ve had little drive to finish NaNoWriMo, despite the fact that I hate the idea of failing yet again. Perhaps it falls at a terrible time of the year, perhaps this is just an especially bad year, but still. I feel like I have no hope of finishing, but that’s a terrible way to look at it, there should always be hope, especially when it comes to something you enjoy to do. Always a hope to finish, a hope to succeed.

But where can you draw that hope from? Especially in situations you can control, where you’re called away or distracted from your goal by something equally or more important, or just by the ebbs and flows of life? There are seldom few places you can draw it from, friends works for some, especially those of us with friends who share our passion. For others it has to come from within which is harder.

The project I’m working on sits at roughly 87000 words, which sounds like I’ve completed NaNoWriMo successfully but I took a story I had already worked on as my challenge this year, in the hope that it would force me to finish it. The downside is only 42000 of that total was written this month and, ironically, I finished the story, the plot is done and a dozen holes have been filled with character background and pre-scene and post-scene actions. So what I’m left with as an option is to rebel against NaNoWriMo, to take on a different project(s) to complete. The answer: Short stories. I’ve been working on short stories for a little while now (occasionally I post them on and while they are slow to be posted they are great fun to do and especially useful for tooling around with the universe, characters and situations I don’t normally find myself writing.

I’m not saying everyone should do them, but I am saying, NaNoWriMo is here to help a habit, the habit of writing everyday. So, if you have to rebel, do it, and maybe you’ll find some hope and success in that rebellion.