It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I was so stuck in stuckness, it wasn’t even funny. Then I found a good counselor/personal coach, who helped me work through some old, hard stuff, that I thought I could shove in a locked closet in my mind and not have it be a problem. That didn’t work out so well. I found out the happy things don’t come out if the sad things don’t. Memories get lost that way. So, if you find yourself stuck in stuckness too, maybe you could find someone to help you out of the quicksand.
It didn’t take me long to get out of the bog and start feeling alive and motivated to do things again. I started playing the piano (badly, but that’s okay) for a little while every day, and then soon I was interested in pulling out some of my old writing and working on it. And then November came. NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. I wasn’t sure I wanted to try again. I’d won it sometimes but most of the time the last few years I’d petered out after the first week. I was on track to do the same thing again this year, in spite of the counseling. Writing is hard. And kind of scary.
But then, I went to a small meeting of friends and one of the things that came up, was the value and importance of working hard. Doing hard work to achieve an important goal. Working hard even when you don’t like it. Even when you are tired. Even when… whatever. And doing it every day, like it or not. Just working hard. Whether it’s to provide for a family, or to save money for going on a special trip, or home repairs, or an emergency fund – it’s important to be willing to work hard.
That week I made a commitment to someone that no matter what, I would work hard every day for a week. I don’t have an “outside” job. I keep our home running (not very well for a while there), and help out the grandchildren, and the great-grandparents. It took me only a moment though to know what I wanted to work hard at. So I set a big hairy goal. With three weeks left of NaNoWriMo, I decided I was going to win it.
I did the math and figured out that in order to get a 50,000 word novel done in three weeks, considering that I’d done a few words of it already (very few), I would need to write at least 2800 words every day. I was communicating with friends who helped cheer me on and keep me accountable – especially that first week. Mr. Hot Stuff was a huge support at this time, understanding my intense drive to get the word-count done at all costs. And it was hard. My brain went into shock, which interestingly enough, meant that I was actually able to get out of my own way and just put words on the page. I had given my inner editor a knock-out punch, and it was glorious.
I won NaNoWriMo this past November. It was so much fun. What started as scary and hard, became scary and hard, and thrilling! I didn’t want to stop. But December. Oof. I got another 25,000 words written in December. Just a few scenes I wanted to add to my November book. And then January came. The holidays over, I wanted to keep the hard work, writing intensity that I’d started in November, so I made more BIG HAIRY AWESOME GOALS. I’ve only told a small number of people what they are at this point, and I think it’s best for me that way.
One of the goals, though, is to finish another novel (previously started) by the end of January. I have five working days left, and I will need to write 2800 words a day or more to do it. It’s going to be another messy first draft, but it’s turning into something better than I’d even imagined. I’m so excited! And I’m looking forward to revision work! (THAT’S hard work!) I haven’t felt so alive in years. So many years.
I think I’ll be able to blog again also. The books have priority now, but I think I can blog on Saturdays. The content will probably change a little, or a lot, not that I was extremely consistent about content before. I know, it’s the #1 blogging rule, and I break it consistently. Oh well, too bad.
Today I’m heading to a baby shower for Meigi! She’s having grandchild #8 next month! Exciting times!!!
Please note: In the past, I’ve hyper-evaluated, and over-analyzed, and revised-to-death, these short blog posts. I’m not going to do that anymore. I love you all, but it shouldn’t take me four hours to write less than a thousand words. I have other things I want to do with my Saturdays!
Don’t you love the thrill of having the words pour out onto the page!? I’m excited for you!
Yes! Thank you! It’s a glorious feeling. But I have learned through this that the only way to experience it is to slog through the times when they don’t flow so easily. I have to be willing to WORK for the joy!