I’ve been deep into word count land. Thanksgiving week snuck up on me. Now the time has come for being grateful for what the universe has offered in the previous twelve months, and making room for being kind about those things which weren’t so great.
Thinking about what I was grateful for hasn’t been hard. I’m writing. I didn’t know if I could, and I’ve found out all the old pieces are still there. I can do this. I am so happy to be doing what I am supposed to be. Creating stories. Big ones, small ones, and teeny tiny snippets of ideas cover all kinds of notebooks, journals, and paper.
Being creative can be a quagmire. So much of what artists do is unquantifiable by conventional means. I’ve found myself struggling in trying to prove to myself I am making progress. Word count seems the most efficient way to follow forward momentum. I also keep track of how long it takes me to write.
Mashed up into this massive drive to win NaNoWrimo, I also wanted to get some articles out, work on craft by taking classes, and figure out some social media stuff. I might have overloaded my plate a bit. About ten days into NaNo, I came down with a bloody cold. A week after, I had walking pneumonia, an eye infection and an ear infection. November wasn’t going to be a barn burner of a writing goal month. I needed to adjust.
I found myself feeling overwhelmed by everything I wasn’t getting done. Lying about while I coughed, sneezed and generally bemoaned my existence, I realized any joy I felt about writing had gone down the drain. Vanished.
Covered up in all the “process” of producing, I’d allowed the actual life-breath of what I do to get buried alive. Doubts are dangerous. My own fear of being behind flipped me from greeting the page to dreading the blank space. Getting any kind of words down felt meaningless. I couldn’t feel the continuity of the story. Words were the enemy.
Coming back from health hell has been an exercise in humility. My body will only allow for so much. I can write, but in small spurts. Naps are important. Pushing past the “wall” isn’t possible when you end up sicker the next day as a consequence.
Pivots aren’t impossible, but making a turn when you really want something feels like a betrayal of yourself. I’m going to write less articles this month than I planned for. Social media lessons will have to be pushed in December. Some of my class work will just have to be late. I need laser focus cutting out all the extraneous other bits of “career” boosting activities.
Getting to the finish line might be great, but getting there and actually liking the work you’ve done sounds like a better plan. I am writing as much as I can. I have 3k plus days, and days where I don’t reach 2k. I am over halfway to my 50,000 words now, and while I am still behind, I know I can get there.
The joy comes back when I stop obsessing about “product” and concentrate on storytelling. If a scene sucks, I just stop writing it. I leave the space there, add a comment to myself and push through to the next place I think I need to take the story. I write things I want to actually write. I’ll go back in and fill places where I need smoother transitions, but for now I want to relish the wonder of falling back in love with my hero and heroine.