writing

NaNoWriMo: Lucky Number Seven

It’s day seven of my seventh NaNoWriMo, and I’m only moderately behind. As my book has 15 chapters planned, I’ve been focusing more on getting a chapter done every other day than exactly hitting word count. It’s a new strategy for me, but I feel good about it. Rather than focus on the pedantic, quantitative word count, I’m focusing on the story and the stages of its action. These past few years I’ve been looking for more and more ways to approach the dear old NaNo, since I can’t just sit down and word-commit like I used to. The novels and stories I’ve written over the years have given me a tremendous sense of pride in craftsmanship—a major handicap when you’re trying to bang out 50,000 words in a month’s time!

I was seriously, seriously concerned that I was not going to be able to do NaNoWriMo this year on account of my wrist. It sometimes gives me pain, which is in turn aggravated by writing. Fortunately, my doctor says with the right home-exercise routine for it, I’ll be fine. Onward to NaNo!

I can’t believe this is my seventh year. Having done it all three years of high school and college, I now find myself working as a reading tutor, babysitter, writing specialist, and English test prep aide. I’m self employed and slowly picking up work here and there. It’s nice not to be under pressure. I don’t doubt that I could find full-time work, but the past month has really been a long and emotionally arduous process realizing that my boyfriend has us in a good financial place and it would make both of us happier if I focused on my writing instead of feeling like I have to be working to validate my competency and worth as a human being. So, here I am. I’ve written as much fiction in the past week as I have the past nine months.

I always thought that someday I wouldn’t be able to do NaNoWriMo, that once I got into college, or once I was dealing with upper-level classes, or once I was out of school, there would come a time where I wouldn’t have the time. The longer I go though, the more I see that actually crafting stories is my priority. It comes ahead of everything else, professional and academic, for me. There will always be time for NaNoWriMo in my life, by virtue of the fact that it’s my life.

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