Back in the Saddle

I can totally explain.

I definitely did not mean to build you all up to Camp NaNoWriMo and leave you hanging. I had an in-depth plan for writing and blogging about my experience during April Camp NaNo. I created a timeline for finishing my novel and for blogging about that process. I thought I had set reasonable goals for myself, and that, perhaps, documenting my experience would be helpful for you other writers out there trying to find your own motivation to finish your stories and novels.

Basically, I had a great, foolproof plan in place, and all I needed to do was to follow my own schedule to succeed.

Needless to say, it didn’t go to plan. The blogging that is. Fortunately, I still accomplished quite a bit of progress on my novel and am now (finally) in the beginnings of the editing stage. Whew, it’s been a long journey.

I don’t really have any one particular excuse for posting no new blog entries for almost two months. I can only say that I failed to post when I planned, then I also didn’t post the next day or the next. I had started to get anxious about my lack of progress, which I’m wont to do. So then I just said, “Screw it.”

Sometimes you just have to re-evaluate your plans, commitments, and life-happenings, and decide what you get rid of or pull back on to eliminate whatever it is that’s causing you that anxiety. When I allowed myself to become more relaxed in my Camp NaNo goal and write more so for the pleasure of writing and completing my novel, I was honestly able to enjoy myself. Completely different from the November NaNoWriMo experience for me.

There is a time and place to produce under pressure—it’s certainly a great way to accomplish a lot of writing in a short amount of time. For someone who had started a book in April of 2016 and who had barely touched it since that time, November’s NaNoWriMo event was just what I needed to light that fire. Now that I’m at the end of the novel and the beginning of the editing process, I need to remember that I’m a different writer than I was at the outset. I needed to give my brain, body, and heart a moment to unwind and consider that idea for a moment. I needed to step back from living in my characters’ world and occupy space in my own world for a while. I think my final product will be all the better for it.   

Somehow taking this time off from the blog and such strict writing schedules turned out to be a necessity I had no idea that I needed. I have no regrets beyond that of your own loss of new blog content during that time. I hope my upcoming posts are the better for the hiatus as well. Stick with me, guys.

I hope, in reading this, you also feel that it’s okay to take some time for yourself now and then. Take some time to reassess yourself not just as a writer (or artist, creator, professional, whatever), but as a human being. Spend some time reinforcing those relationships that maybe you feel like you’ve neglected a bit during your own extended writing sprees. Maybe keep writing, as I did, but cut yourself more slack than you do typically. Sometimes, when there’s not a real consequence to missing a self-imposed deadline…sometimes, in order to grow the most, you may just need to miss that deadline.

In further news, I’m trying out something new. Occasionally, when I’m writing about writing, I may share a short tracklist of my current writer’s playlist with you. Lately I’m just so inspired by music, and I’d love to share with you.  I’ll add this to the end of the blog entries, so, if you’re not interested, you know you’re not actually missing any of the relevant blog post content, and you can just skip reading the bit at the end.

Music inspiring today’s blog post: “Somebody Else” by The 1975; “Monster” by Lola Kirke; “Want To” by Dua Lipa; “Pineapple Skies” by Miguel; “Portions for Foxes” by Rilo Kiley—coincidentally all from my current noveling playlist as well. Happy listening, writing, and decompressing, readers! See you again (hopefully) next week!

-AW

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