NaNoWriMo Update – Week 2

This week’s update is going to be a short one, mostly because I don’t have much ground to cover that I didn’t talk about last week.

First, I’d like to share my jubilation on yet another platform that holy shit I broke 20,000 words.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done 20k on a project, I’ll admit, but those other times were mostly fanfiction series or stabs at my opus that usually fizzled out shortly thereafter. This is the first time that I’ve looked at my word count and been seriously, incredibly proud of myself. And that’s less because of the milestone itself than the labor and preparation that went into it, as well as the fact that I’ve gotten this far and I still have the creative energy and a vision to keep going.

That is what’s new to me. That is what has me beyond pumped.

That said, I had a really bad day yesterday. I had some pretty severe pain in my right ear that turned out to be an infection that kept me fairly well distracted most of the day. Even after it subsided, I struggled hard with getting words out. After two and a half hours and a net word count of 580, I closed my laptop and went to sleep.

And you know what? I didn’t feel guilty about it.

Maybe a year ago or six months ago I would have tried to wring another thousand words out of the bone dry sponge that was my brain, but this time I looked at all the successes I’ve had in just two short weeks. I remembered just this past Saturday when I wrote 3800 without really even batting an eye. I told myself that even if I remain helplessly stuck in this scene, I have a 20 page outline I can fall back on to find a place where I can start fresh.

I tell you what, I slept like a baby.

Then, I woke up this morning, listened to some of my favorite podcasts, daydreamed about what it would be like to be a full-time writer one day, ate my breakfast sandwich, and got to work.

I think we all, at some point or another, forget that self-care has to be an integral part of our writing process. I know none of us want to burn ourselves out, or work ourselves into stress related illnesses. And so we have to allow ourselves the ability to say, “No, not today,” without getting down on ourselves about it.

It was a lesson I didn’t even realized I learned, but I am all the happier for it.

Until next week!

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