NaNoWriMo 2016 Update – Push

tumblr_mylqmkr9wk1rli1a8o2_250

I’m at 8,196 words right now. According to my NaNoWriMo tracker, I should be finished with my book by February. But even going against that number, I don’t feel in any way good about the progress that I’ve been making. And truly, it’s my own fault. I’ve stopped writing.

I’ve got no excuses. My day job is kind of taking over anything else I want to do. I come home exhausted. My journaling is just me whining about how unhappy I’m currently.

The biggest struggle is that I thought I had this story down. I thought I knew exactly what I was going to write about and then I started writing and the story somehow seemed to evolve on me. Suddenly, the path is shifting and I need to make the decision and quickly to take the new path set out for me. This isn’t easy.

tumblr_mylqmkr9wk1rli1a8o4_250

However, I see a point to the writing that I’m doing. My story isn’t controversial, but it plays on some diversity themes. I’m not trying to be political, but in a world where the next four years of American history are about to be written, I feel that I have something to say and I can say it through writing. Even if I only reach one person, I can feel good about it.

I’ve emphasized time and time again how important it is to read and learn and educate yourself about people in the world. Not to play the bad guy here, but we all live in a bubble. We only know what we know and we should want to know more. I’m not going to say that we all need to go out and see what’s happening in Africa, but we need to open our minds to books and reading. We need to take a book we’ve read and find meaning within it. How did the book affect you? What are the themes that really made you think?

It’s funny that I ask myself these questions now almost 13 years out of high school. It’s like the lessons I learned when I was a kid were designed to make me think a little bit deeper about the stories that I was reading. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I’ve got to let my story take me where it wants to go. I have to push myself to continue writing because I believe my story says something. It says something to me.

NaNoWriMO 2016 Update – Decisions, decisions

writing1

Challenges are always tough for me. It has something to do with my need to reach the end. Even in school while a deadline loomed over me, I struggled and stressed out by the fact that this paper needed to be X number of words or Y number of pages. Why couldn’t I say what I wanted to say without forcing myself to bullshit the rest?

I’ve come across NaNoWriMo challenges in the past and met them but not without a lot of strife and turmoil. Having a full time job and wanting to pursue a career as a writer are two halves to two very different puzzles.

During the eight hours I’m at work, I’m all business jargon and data crunching. But then I get home and I have to switch that off entirely so the creative side can come out. The imagination can finally play, but sometimes it feels tough when it stays dormant all day long. It’s like going to workout with cold muscles, it takes a while for your brain to wake up.

So I’ve decided to do something a little radical, yet true to the very nature of NaNoWriMo:

I’m going to pace myself.

Yup, that’s right. I’m going to take my slow ass time writing this book. Why? Because the reality of the world outside of NaNoWriMo is that books take more than 30 days to write. I want to spend my 30 days and even more writing this book, taking my time to develop these characters, research parts, and edit edit edit.

This isn’t an attempt to try and finagle my way out of writing this book. No, I just have a lot on my plate right now. Back when I was a kid, the only things I did all day was write Support emails and then come home. Now, I have to pay bills and buy groceries and go to the gym and basically be an adult.

I can’t do that with a challenge facing me…in the face. I need no boundaries. I only need the motivation to write this novel because it’s something that I want to write and hope people will appreciate.

There are no guarantees that this book will amount to anything aside from space on my hard drive, but I know I’ve got the motivation to write it and I know that it’ll be great even if the only person reading it is my therapist.

How are you getting along with your NaNoWriMo challenges?