This week, I have a lot on my plate. I wanted to hit 50k by Sunday night (didn’t do it, as I was sick for most of last week), and I want to outline/write/edit/submit two short stories by November 30th, both of which still need everything done on them.
Naturally, I started freaking out. “But I wanted to finish the novel this month, not just hit the word count!” I lamented. “I’m failing, I just can’t do both…”
Which in turn spurred the wise words of my husband, Mr. Practical (and also Mr. Calm-Down-You’re-Overreacting-Again-Faith): “Faith, every month is NaNoWriMo for you, so it doesn’t matter if you finish the novel or not. You’re going to keep writing at this pace regardless, because that’s how you’ll develop your career… so just do what you can and don’t stress yourself out.”
Ah, easier said than done. But he did make a good point: Writing a lot means accomplishing a lot, and if I don’t stop writing every day, the novel will get finished one way or another, regardless. And, I can switch over and write the short stories this month without worrying (apparently).
So, every month is National Novel Writing Month. Okay, maybe not 50,000 words on the same story, but if I write 50,000 words every month just in general… that’ll still be a lot of work accomplished.
Have you ever totalled up all the writing you do in a month?
I’m talking: blogging, writing-related social networking, newsletters or writing-related emails, edits (words that are added), outlining, notes you take on the various books you read, AND your WIP.
Try it for a month. I challenge you to open a Word document for December and copy/paste every piece of writing you do that somehow relates to writing (social networking on writing blogs counts!). I think at the end of the month, you’ll be shocked at how much writing you actually do, not to mention have a visual of where the majority of your time was spent.
I’d be willing to be that you’re living every month like NaNoWriMo too… just maybe not focusing all your energies on one specific novel. You’re constantly doing NaNoWriMo, just not under that particular name… maybe, NaWriMo (National Writing Month), over and over again.
I’d say that’s pretty darn encouraging.