On NaNoWriMo, and Kicking my Own Butt

I’ve been really struggling to get any writing done lately. First, there was the dead laptop. And after that was fixed, save for a short lived writing frenzy prompted by excitement at having my laptop back, it was lack of time and motivation. Otherwise known as excuses.  So, in an attempt to motivate myself and hold myself accountable, I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year.

I’ve heard a lot of really good things over the last couple of years about this excellent annual event, but never quite got around to doing it. This year, I figured there’s nothing like an online community and word counter to keep me motivated. The only problem is that it hasn’t really worked so well. It’s not you, NaNoWriMo, it’s me. You’ve been great, really, and that dress totally doesn’t make you look fat. It’s just…I’ve been single for a really long time, and I don’t remember what it’s like to be in a committed relationship.

That’s kind of how it feels. Like I’m in a relationship with someone caring and supportive and totally awesome, and I’m dropping the ball. I’m a terrible girlfriend, I know. But I promise I’ll be better, if you just give me a chance. See, I haven’t been doing very well at all. Firstly, I forgot I’d even signed up until four days into November. And then, though I made a strong start in an attempt to make up for lost time, I allowed myself to get distracted by episodes of Gossip Girl instead of writing. (By the way, on the GG front, don’t judge me. I started watching it to get some fashion inspiration for clothing to make, and then got entirely too into the poxy plots). But I have been trying harder. I bought a new notebook to take to work with me, and have been writing by hand and manually counting my words to enter in. It’s a much slower process than blasting out the words on a laptop, but I kind of like it. It allows me to really get into what I’m writing instead of focusing so much on how many words I’ve written. When you don’t have a running tally unless you do it yourself, it becomes less about how much or how little you have written, and more about the actual words. It’s cathartic.

I am taking any spare moment I have to get some words out on paper, and despite being way too behind on my word count (the number of words I have to get to achieve the target goal on time increases by the day), this is the most motivated I have been to write in…well, a really long time. And if for no other reason, signing up for and participating in NaNoWriMo this year has been beneficial to me as a writer, and as a person. I feel like I need this motivation, as some kind of validation. I have been talking about being a writer since I was little, but I have been fluffing about for a lot of that time too, and I think people have stopped taking me seriously. In the spirit of full disclosure, I think I have stopped taking myself seriously, and that’s the problem. I have had enough of allowing myself to be lazy. They talk about chasing your dreams; well, I’m about to.

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