I long for those days at the beginning of the month when my inspiration was high and my fingers were a blur over the keyboard. I rejoiced every evening as I updated my word count on the NaNoWriMo website, and it told me I would actually be done before December. It motivated me to return to my word processor and annoy my husband with the constant clack of the keys. (It didn’t really annoy him. I don’t think. I mean, he comments sometimes on how fast I’m typing, but I think he’s being supportive. Right?)
Now, as the middle of the month has come and gone and my word count has gone stagnant, I feel that I might have marooned myself in NaNo land. I took a few days off, ostensibly because I had a wisdom tooth pulled, and surely that’s reason enough for any sane person to set the laptop down for a bit and do some Netflix binging. People do it for less.
But the writing experts aren’t lying when they say you should keep a steady writing habit. I do this most of the time, and I really do feel that it keeps the creative juices flowing. It might also keep my mind churning with awesome story ideas when I’m supposed to be sleeping, but that’s a side effect I must endure.
My short sabbatical has turned into an entire week. A week! One quarter of the month has been lost to days of only eating soft foods, a tiny bit of freelance editing, and a few (okay, several) spontaneous naps on the couch.
This is why, even though I absolutely DO NOT feel like writing, I’m doing it anyway (and my husband is asking me why my clickety-clacking is going so slowly tonight). I might not be writing anything important or particularly creative, but there are words appearing on my screen right now. And I’ll take what I can get.
Hello and Happy NaNoWriMo!
Last year was the first time I attempted this great feat. I achieved a whopping 17,000 words. I was pretty disappointed in myself, to be honest. I really thought I could do this. I had a good idea for a book, and I was excited about it. So where did I falter? You know what? I don’t even remember. I just know I didn’t get it done. I finished the book much, much later.
So I’ve had some qualms about signing up this year. Do I really want to make this commitment and then let myself down? Haven’t I been just so completely busy already without piling another 50k words on top? But then again, I have another great idea for a book. Shouldn’t I just do it? But on the other hand, it’s already getting late in the evening and I haven’t had a chance to write a single word. That big zero at the top of the NaNoWriMo page is not just taunting me, but making outright fun of me.
Hulu has the old Bob Ross shows now. (Don’t worry, this is going somewhere.) I used to absolutely ADORE this show. I watched it all the time as a little kid. It turns out that Bob is just as hypnotic as he was back then. His soft, even voice makes it seem like even I could pick up a brush and a gigantic paint palette and create a beautiful scene of trees on the water. It’s just a bunch of simple little paint techniques that don’t seem like much of anything when you look at them individually, but when you stand back and put them together they make something beautiful.
Hmmm. That sounds like something familiar.
And Bob starts with a certain type of canvas, but he tells me I can use any kind of canvas I want. And I don’t have to paint the happy little trees right where he puts them; that’s completely up to me. And sometimes, he says we’re going to get a little crazy and put a few extra plants over here in the corner, and just see how they look. It’s all just whatever I want; no big deal.
Okay, Bob. I get it. I can paint my own beautiful scene with my words. They might not seem like much by themselves. I have to stand back and look at them all together. And it’s okay if I don’t have all of my decisions made ahead of time. I can throw in an extra scene here or there and just see where it takes me. No pressure. It’s all just whatever I want; no big deal.
Time to start writing!
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