Monday, December 31, 2012

Why This Writer is not Writing

Girl Reading Photo Credit: o5com

You may know that in November, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I wrote something like 34,000 words in the month. The goal is 50,000, but I was pleased with what I accomplished. I had hoped to finish the 50,000 and the story in December. However, December is ending and I am still at the same word count. December got a little crazy with 7 parties before Christmas, a flight to St. Louis with my 3 year old, and an international youth convention. In all that, I just couldn't make myself sit down and write. So my new goal is to finish the story and the 50,000 words by March 15. I think I can do that.

In November and even the beginning of December, I really felt like I was ready to commit to this writing thing and to write a little something everyday. I thought I was ready to start doing the hard work of being a writer. Then as December progressed and Christmas passed us, I felt an overwhelming and insatiable need to read. And maybe I'm not quite ready to do the hard work of writing everyday.

I fought the feeling. If I am a writer, I need to be writing on a project. I'm 32 and I've avoided writing for about 10 years now. Just these last couple months I have begun connecting with other writers and putting myself out there as a writer instead of just whispering it to myself without doing the hard work involved. I just started taking myself seriously as a writer. How can I go back on this progress? Yet the feeling wouldn't go away. It just kept getting stronger. So I wasted time by playing games on the computer. I avoided reading and writing both. I tried to not make a decision. And that didn't work either. I was plagued by my conscience because I knew I was avoiding this topic and wasting time. So finally yesterday I made a decision.

In theory, I could find time to read and write every day. However, I doubt my ability to manage my time that well. Being a wife, mother, teacher, and youth leader keeps me pretty busy. If I want to spend quality time in those roles, I don't really have much left over for both read and writing. So for now, I'm going to put aside my daily writing goals, sort of. I still plan on finishing my NaNoWriMo story by March. I also hope to journal at least 3 times a week and of course I will be writing on here. So all of that certainly counts as writing. However, I don't think I will have a story or character that I will be working on. When I finish my NaNo novel, I will not go back and edit it anytime soon. I will not be writing every day on a consistent project.

I'm going to listen to this voice that says, "Read! Read now. Read lots." I'm going to listen to the books I read and see what they can add to my knowledge of this writing thing as well as what it can add to my life. I suppose I feel like I am in research mode. I'm going to be reading anything and everything I can get my hands on with a view to my own writing. When I come out of this phase, I hope to be able to write better and do the work of sitting down to write every day on a project.

I would love for you guys to keep me accountable about this. Ask me every so often how the reading is going. Ask me what I am learning. Ask me how my NaNo novel is going. Ask me if I have written anything new.

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