I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I didn’t really start writing until NaNoWriMo 2010. I churned out 50,000 words before Thanksgiving, and it’s probably not an exaggeration to say the experience changed my life.
Since then, I’ve always been my most productive writing self during NaNoWriMo. I love the frenzy of it, the sense of community, and most importantly, the hard, looming deadline. When the calendar turns to December, I usually decide to take a break after my month of exhaustive work, thinking “I’ll get back to writing in the New Year.” But then January is busier than expected at work and February’s so short that I can’t really expect to get anything done. All of a sudden, I’m in a creative rut.
I’m putting it out there, law-of-attraction-style: one day, I would like to support myself full time by writing fiction.
Until then, like a lot of aspiring novelists, I work a regular, full-time office job. And I have to admit, lately I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping up with my fiction writing.
Since I’m feeling so overwhelmed by my job and other things, I wanted to remind myself—and hopefully teach you—how to find a balance and keep working on my personal projects.
There is a subset of people who say, “Why make resolutions on January 1? It’s just an arbitrary date! You can make changes in your life any time of the year.” While I do make goals all year round, I think there’s something nice about using this season to look back on what I’ve accomplished in the past year and what I’d like to do in the upcoming year.
Generally, I have the same “resolution” every year, which is to write more consistently. Since convincing myself to sit down to write is often my biggest roadblock, I’ve spent the last few years refining resolutions that trick me into actually starting to work.
As I type this, there are 8 days left until the start of NaNoWriMo.
I’m not ready.
A few weeks ago, I settled on a project to work on, and since then, I’ve pieced together a vague plot and come up with a protagonist (who I spent way too much time choosing the perfect name for). And that’s about it
You’ve done all the necessary prep work for your novel and are ready to start writing. Ten years ago, most writers would probably pull up a fresh Microsoft Word document and type “Chapter One” at the top of the page, but nowadays, there are a lot more word processing options to consider. It’s a wide world out there, but these are the softwares I use to go from first draft to finished product.
If you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, you’ve almost definitely heard of Scrivener, which has sponsored the event for years. I purchased my copy of the software with a discount code I got for winning NaNo in 2010, but I have to admit that it sat on my computer unused for a couple years.
On the blog, you'll finds musings on writing craft, book reviews, and general updates on my work. If there are any topics you'd like me to cover, leave a comment!