It’s week three of NaNoWriMo and one of my writers has already written 50,000 words. I am so proud of her. That’s about 3000-4000 coherent words every day, on top of her normal life. It would be between three and five hours of what most people would call “overtime” every day. Not just on Friday because you had a special job on, but every single day, for a whole month, without pay. When November is over she’ll sit down and revise and edit that story for between one and three years before spending one-three years seeking traditional publication, or self-publishing and then promoting her work. That’s the work that goes into those paperbacks you read on the train/beach/sofa.
I’m the municipal liaison for Ireland North East
I’m a big believer in priorities. It’s vital in life to know where yours lie and to live accordingly. Every year in November I am reminded of that fact. I ask writers in my region to think about that before they start NaNoWriMo and chances are, if they drop out during the month it’s because priorities higher than writing got in the way.
Where does your dream lie (be that writing a novel or something else) on your priority list? Does it come above your family/romantic relationship/health/social life/watching TV/exercise/housework/social media/hobbies/work/education?
If you can’t place it above TV and social media then you have a problem. If your priorities clash with those in your immediate family then you will need to come to a compromise that works (let me ignore housework during November and I’ll let you go on that golfing weekend, for example).
If you want those around you to treat your dream seriously the first step is to treat it seriously yourself. Own up to it. Tell the people you love. Buy and wear the proverbial t-shirt. Adjust your priorities (even for a short time like November) and admire the progress you make.
But whatever you do, don’t tell me you don’t have time to write (draw/learn Greek/get fit/etc). You do. You simply have to prioritise it. It doesn’t even have to snag the top spot (family comes first with me), but it’s got to be in the top three, in my opinion.
Do I have this cracked, personally? Nope. Close family and friends “get” it and support it (a little). Newer friends have to be reminded and I spent the last two days doing that.
“No, I can’t do that this month, remember I mentioned I’m doing this big writing challenge? And that I run the whole region? Perhaps we could look at that in December?”
“I’m writing every night this month. Sorry. I’ll be in touch in December.”
“If you schedule that meeting in November, I won’t be there.”
[silence as I refuse to reply to the emails and calls]
Yeah, my priorities don’t always agree with those around me. Saying YES to my novel sometimes means saying NO to other things, but by the end of this month I will have taken a huge step on the path of completing the draft of my first historic fiction novel. I’m in love with my story and having priorities will get me to those two magic words “The End”.
until next week happy writing, reading, and wordfooling,
p.s. I’ve reached 31,000 words by writing naval battles, banquets, ship wreck, tragic drownings, betrayals, and castle intrigue – 1588 was a fun time in history.
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