I’m participating! Look, I’ve even got a project set up on the official NaNoWriMo website and everything.
I’ve set a modest 20k word count goal for myself for the month, which I think is attainable as long as I make sure not to stress myself out or over do it. After two days, I do believe I’ve determined that I am at my most creatively productive between 8 and 9am, which is when I’ve been writing my 100 word minimum each day for the last month and change anyway.
Please feel free to add me as a writing buddy! I would love to be your cheerleader as you put down words on your passion project.
I finished the first first draft of the first chapter of a novel this morning!
Word count currently sitting at a very modest ~6,500 words, with so very many left to go before the finish line is even in sight, but I think what I am most proud of with this particular accomplishment is how steady and incremental process made it possible.
I decided, a little over a month ago while I was nearing the end of my mental health leave from work, that I would do everything in my power to write just 100 words a day towards a novel. That’s it; 100 words at minimum every day, no matter what, and I would work on making these words appear for just an hour each morning. When that hour was up, or when I hit my word count minimum (whichever came first), I’d close out of Scrivener, put the project aside, and not think about it at all for the next twenty-four hours.
And… I did it.
I wasn’t 100% consistent; the stats above show that pretty transparently, but what they also demonstrate is a clear commitment to trying again every time I faltered or struggled. Some days (here’s looking at you, May 26 and 27), I just could not get the words to come together the way I wanted them to, and didn’t meet even my minimum required output before my hour was up and I had to call it quits for the day. On other days, as soon as I hit that word count minimum, that was it, I was done, extracting another word out of my brain was akin to pulling teeth, but when I walked away from the project for the day it was nevertheless with a sense of modest accomplishment, that I had kept my word to myself and made progress towards a goal that meant a lot to me.
And then there were days like June 22 and 23: ~800 words! And subsequently, almost 600 words! All accomplished roughly within that hour I set aside for myself in the morning before starting my day job, and many of those words such a delight to write that stopping myself from continuing was nearly as challenging as getting started had been when this process began. But I did stop, and I put the project away again, because this steady, incremental, consistent progress is far better for me than just the occasional day here and there throughout an otherwise creatively barren year where I manage to write a deluge.
All this to say, Self, well done. Good job! I am proud of you, Self, for reclaiming hours from your day to devote to the work that has always been central to your–our–identity. And I am extremely excited to see what we will have to share with the world when June 24, 20201 arrives.
Anyway, enjoy this glorious piece of artwork I commissioned from my talented artist friend, Cami Woodruff, of mine and my husband’s two ragdoll cats, and our temporary foster gremlin, Georgie.
In the doldrums of mid-morning and beneath fluorescent lamplight I have my monitors for company and my task list for accountability.
Here is the work my skill set chose for me--to speak truth to power Through calculated risk factors, regulations and best practices, Records schedules, classification schemes that valuate a virtue, That we are--or ought to be--transparently, precisely what we purport ourselves to be, And where we fall short, see our path towards compliance (Which is, to me, just another word for integrity).
See it all here, Reviewed, proof-read, documented with secondary sources Prepared to be presented, read, categorized and ignored; Watch power lay the foundation for my future failure And, in the same breath, thank me for my continued service.
Idealism in this profession has a short shelf life in spirit If not shored up early by stubbornness and grit.