Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 - Day 20

No comment; just cutes.
K, I'm all caught up now. :D

On a few other notes, here are some things I've realized over the past 24 hours.

1. I no longer complain about not having enough time.

Now, I'm not saying that I got more time, or even that I do have enough. Rather, I stopped complaining about it.

For those who don't know what I mean, here's an example. If you knew me when I was younger, you might have found me wishing for more time, complaining that "I don't have enough time for that." Heck, I used to put "Time" down half-jokingly as the first item on my birthday list each year.

That's how much I wanted time to write (and do other things, of course, but mostly write).

I don't do that anymore.

What changed?

Well, I certainly didn't get more time. I've still got the same 24 hours each day that you have, and I'm still about as busy as I've ever been.

What changed was my priorities. When I started making my writing a higher priority than in the past, I started getting it done. I work on it every day now (with a few exceptions), and I am consistently progressing toward real, measurable goals.

That. Is. Immensely. Satisfying.

And after I've done my writing for the day, I don't worry as much about my available time. I don't stress out about fitting things into the schedule. I wrote. That's the main reason I have a schedule in the first place, so once that's out of the way I can do whatever else needs to be done and not feel regret at the end of the day.

Sure, there are things that still come up that make me stressed or disappointed if I don't get around to them. But I don't try to blame a lack of time for it anymore. Now, it's just my own stupidity or forgetfulness or mismanaged scheduling.

And sure, I still feel a twinge of regret at the utter finiteness of the time I have available in this life. I'm never going to get to do all the things I want to do, after all. But I've made the most important activity (to me) a priority, and so I don't feel as much regret. In fact, I feel satisfied that at least I'll accomplish something, and that that something will be worth my while (in my opinion, at least; hopefully others will agree, eventually).

So, yeah. Didn't notice that before. I'm glad, though. Really grateful that it's happened. (I'm sure my family and friends are as well.)

2. Somewhere along the line, I practiced writing.

I wrote for four hours yesterday.

Four. Hours.

I remember when it was difficult for me to sit down for thirty minutes. I was always so discouraged by how little I got done each day, yet felt so drained as though I had been working for hours!

Wow, was I ever a child.

For some reason, I kept coming back to writing, plugging away here and there. Trying ever to get my stories off the ground. And then, once they were in the air, failing miserably to keep them there.

It was incredibly frustrating to watch the days continue ticking by without feeling like the writing was going anywhere.

And yet, here I am, looking back on my work yesterday and thinking, "Wow, that was kind of easy. I could have easily put more time into it."

I'm in the same position today. I wrote for about three hours today, and I'm looking at my responsibilities for the evening and thinking about where I can squeeze another hour or two out of the schedule. (Nowhere, really.)

This feels great! I mean, yeah, it can be frustrating and difficult facing the semi-blank page every day. Sometimes it's easy to get started, sometimes it's not. But the important thing is that, more often than not, once I actually get started I find that I really enjoy this work!

Clearly, I've been practicing. I just never noticed.

All that struggling to get started. Struggling to sit down. Struggling to even keep myself seated for ten, twenty, thirty minutes at a time. It's all paying off. I've grown from thirty minutes of staring at a blank screen, to two hours of solid fiction writing at a time.

Forgive me for being somewhat impressed. And surprised.

For any of you reading this and wanting to write, I hope my realization gives you some perspective, and maybe even some encouragement, as you face your own frustrations with your writing habits.

This kind of ease and confidence has been a long time coming for me. I'm glad it's finally arrived. (Now I've just got to keep it going.)

Until next time...
-josh k.

NaNoWriMo 2011 Progress
Today: 3,681/1,666 words.
So far: 33,663/33,333 words.
Total: 33,663/50,000 words.

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