When our group of writers began referring to NaNoWriMo as November Madness, I felt it was all in good fun. Yes, it is crazy to try to write so much in such a short time. But we’re writer’s so it’s just a challenge. The idea of “madness” I didn’t take seriously.
Then November 1 came.
My time is not my own, ever. I’m used to that. I work to balance and juggle the demands of others on my time just like all of you. But yesterday, my day was chock full more than usual. I wasn’t worried though. I could write late into the night (as I often do) and meet my word count for the day. Instead, this is what happened:
Words written on November 1: 100
Total words so far: 100
Pathetic is the word that comes to mind when I see word count so small it doesn’t even show up on the NaNoWriMo chart. But I’m learning to be kinder to myself and put things into context. I was on the go all day until about 9pm. But I brought my computer with me and managed to pound out those 100 words while waiting for a meeting to start at 5:30. I was just getting into a groove when I heard “We’re going to get started…” and away went my computer.
When I got home, I finished up a few commitments I had for the day and then just after 11 pm I was going to sit down and write for as long as I could.
But I had to be honest. I was exhausted, more so than my usual self. By around 11 pm a second wind hits and I can push on writing or working until at least 1 am. The wind didn’t come, not even a whimper. And knowing I had to teach two classes back to back today (that I wasn’t entirely prepared for) I decided sleep was more important. I knew my limit.
Tonight, looking back on the teeny-tiny word count, I still have to say I made the right decision. It’s important to know when you can push yourself, and when you need to listen to your body. I struggle with it every day but I’m also getting better at it.
So my advice to anyone who is along for the ride in this NaNoWriMo madness is to be kind to yourself. Things happen. Move on, and get started again the next day. And that’s the real important bit: Start again the next day!
I’ll be back tomorrow with more than 100 words added to my word count, I promise that for sure. How many though, is a mystery. We’ll both have to find out when the day is over!
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