Reflecting on my first week of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I consider my successes and my failures, both what went well (not much) and not so well (a whole lot). And while there are tons of challenges and opportunities, one area I tackled immediately is a space to write.
Until recently, I wrote whenever and wherever. I would set-up my laptop in bed (much to my husband’s chagrin), on the living room sofa, at the dining room table, even on the far side of the moon. Problem with that approach is, depending on the time of day and the condition of said locale, I dedicated more time to preparing to write instead of actually writing. Not to mention the numerous interruptions and distractions.
Fortunately, the solution was underneath my feet the entire time. Literally. When my husband finished our basement a couple of years ago, he created a small office for me that had become a catch-all room. I cleaned up my office and created a dedicated workspace this past weekend.
Another challenge I’ve encountered are dreaded word counts! My life was literally dictated my word counts on days 1-4 of NaNoWriMo, as I drove myself crazy trying to hit that 1,667 mark each and every day. I even created a spreadsheet to track my progress (I know – obsess much??) Driven to the brink, I had a revelation at my son’s swim meet this past week. If you’ve ever been to a swim meet before, you know they last forever and ten days (not an exaggeration). Between the warm-ups that begin at 7 am, the meet that starts at 8 am, and the 80+ events (yes 80 plus!) with multiple heats (up to six heats with 8 swimmers in each), swim meets are good place to get things done (in between watching and cheering for my son in his four events of course!).
So this past Saturday, I had more time than my laptop had battery life (outlets can be a bit tricky at an indoor pool!). Once my laptop died, I pulled out my journal and starting writing with an ink pen. It was like rediscovering a long lost friend! I forgot all about word counts and focused on capturing my thoughts on paper. Before I knew it, several pages of my journal had been filled (front and back), and the ideas just kept flowing. It was pure magic! I will continue to use my journal on my quest to pen 50,000 words by November 30th.
As I continue along this journey to become a more disciplined and consistent writer, I am always open to new ideas and suggestions. What have you done to hone your craft?