I didn't win NaNoWriMo this year, and guess what? I'm not one bit sorry. In fact, I'm actually celebrating that I took care of myself and my sanity this November. Instead of stressing over word counts, I simply made sure I wrote a little every day, kept sketching every day, and just stayed on track with being creative every day. It was more than good enough--it was fantastic!
There were a number of reasons why this year's 30-day, 50K challenge didn't work for me, but the number one thing going on was a serious case of "monkey mind." Every time I sat down to work on my NaNoWriMo manuscript, I wanted to collage and paint it rather than write it. Or I wanted to find new writing prompts from old magazines. Or . . . or . . . I just couldn't settle on one way of working on it. At the same time, I still wanted to express what was running through my head: images, colors, even musical themes, but I just needed to play with my subject matter rather than write it. So I followed my heart and:
- Made 7 new pieces of pottery inspired by my story.
- Finished the art journal I started earlier this summer with my writer's group by adding collages based on my story.
- Finished an art journal I started three years ago by writing poetry connected to my story. (Yes, three years is a long time for one journal, I know, I know.)
- Practiced drawing the horses that were part of my story.
- Went through a stack of magazines for new pictures and ideas for writing prompts that I can keep using next year for my story.
- And yes . . . I wrote 19,252 words of my NaNoWriMo story! Not so bad, after all.
- I now have enough greenware to fill my kiln for a bisque firing.
- Finishing my art journals got rid of my guilt at neglecting them and boosted my energy. And I love having collages to go with my plot, characters, and settings.
- I've won plenty of NaNoWriMos over the years to know I can do it, but now I also know when to say "no." A very good lesson.
- And it was still fun to participate, even on a minor scale. I enjoyed following the progress of other writers and encouraging them to continue. I was part of a writing community and it was a good place to be.
Tip of the Day: The key to accomplishing any goal is one step at a time. It doesn't matter how big or small that step is, just give yourself the space to do it. And if you did win NaNoWriMo this year: CONGRATULATIONS!! My hat's off to you. Enjoy your victory!