I have broken one of the only rules I have ever attempted to withhold when it comes to NaNo: don’t delete any words. After writing a paragraph that was part vomit and part garbage, I just couldn’t bring myself to try and work on my novel. Unfortunately, when it comes to distraction, I’m violently susceptible to it and the idea of attempting to give birth to an entirely foreign universe without any headphones (forgot those), surrounded by strangers (social anxiety), and directly next to a very adorable but also noisy baby (I love you but my ADD does not), was just too daunting.
Instead, accepting that I’m incapable of tuning out music playing from the headphones slung around someone’s neck, the tapping of 40 hands-on keyboards, the conversation of a table behind me, I’ve decided now is a good time to lean into my greatest strength and let you all know what’s going on. God bless stream of consciousness. And at least there’s a cute pink-haired girl to quietly sneak looks at while I sit here.
It’s November, which means it’s National Novel Writing Month. The premise of this is that within the course of a single month, you will attempt to write 50,000 words (an average of approximately 1,667 words a day). Doing so means that you “win” NaNo and enter the winter with a monstrosity that demands copious editing. It’s a great way to force the common perfectionist writer to let go of this idea that first drafts are good and instead finally force themselves to write the stories that rattle around in their brains.
It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be an author. Ever since I learned how letters worked, I fantasized about a book on the shelf with my name on it. I even told a teacher once, “Look for my name in bookstores ten years from now.” I was eleven at the time so I definitely didn’t hit that goal but hey, better late than never, right?
I started this monthly challenge in 2011 and I have never reached the 50k goal. This year, however, I will. I am certain of this because I’m “cheating” and continuing a story I started last year. As of right now, I’m a little over 40,000 words. Later tonight, when I’m in a space where my brain can function properly, I’ll pound out the 2,000-word goal I had for my novel today. As for right now?
Right now, it’s time for me to, first of all, apologize to the handful of people who actually follow this blog for not updating for such an extended period of time. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, examining how I spend my time especially. Just the other day, I read a quote that spoke to my soul: “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” Thanks, Lincoln. Why do I waste so much time playing a stupid match-three game on my phone when I could be using that time to write instead? Why do I fight and struggle against my math class as if I’m not going to see it through to the end? Why do I put small, pointless pleasures that never satisfy above my long term goals?
This blog has been put on the backburner for too long. Writing, in general, has been used when convenient instead of prioritized like it should be. If I were to be captured by the Dark Circus, and they looked inside my dream mirror, they would see me sitting at a table, meeting people who read my work and felt that it spoke to them. Ready for another quote? I don’t remember the origin of this one but the gist of it was, “Amateurs wait for inspiration; professionals get to work.”
What this means in quantifiable terms is that from now on, you can expect a new post on here every Monday. It might not hit the site until a minute before midnight but by golly, you’ll see some goddamn fresh words before the day rolls over.
As for my novel, for the first time in my life, I’ll finish the first draft by the end of this month, if not sooner. I have no idea how long the editing process will take me but for right now, I’m just focusing on one step at a time. Hopefully, when it comes out, you guys will read it and maybe even like it! That’s a part of my dream, too
Tune in next week for your now-regularly programmed content. Thank you for making what I do so enjoyable.
PS: If you never really thought about word count before, this post (not including this PS), is 771 words long c;
PPS: I may be alright at writing but sometimes I’m a bit spacey about actually publishing. Oops. I swear this was written on Monday.