It’s just about the last week of NaBloPoMo. I’ve successfully written a post every day, even through one of the worst stomach flus that I can remember. It has been challenging, but after doing both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, I can say that this is easier for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that each post is its own entity and doesn’t have to complete the whole.
When you feel that you have to write a number of words that will meaningfully contribute to an overall vision, there is (for me, at least) a bit of hesitance. There is an internal editing that takes place before you even sit down to type your little heart out. And then a bit of a struggle whilst pushing and pulling those words around on paper or a screen. With a blog post, you can take an idea and flesh it out fully or not, put your words down and hope for the best. They are what they are and hopefully they are good, but if they aren’t there is a lot less pressure to make them so.
In that way, I am finding that NaBloPoMo is accomplishing what I have always hoped that NaNoWriMo would…establishing simply the habit of writing every single god-forsaken day. For better or for worse. Regardless of life, regardless of word choice, regardless of distractions. I can write whatever I feel, get it all out, and tomorrow I can write about something completely different. I can change my mind. There is a freedom in that.
In the past, when trying to complete NaNoWriMo, I found that I got so hung up on the story or the characters and spent so much time editing as I went that my time investment went up while my word count stayed the same. I wasn’t able to simply write it all, with the promise that I would edit it later. Even though I mentally gave myself permission for my writing to be subpar, the reality is that my attachment to the story or the characters paralyzed me into not exploring scenes if i couldn’t get the tone right or if I couldn’t get into the right frame of mind.
I’ve learned that in order to be successful at writing (a cohesive novel), I either have to plan meticulously and give myself as much time as needed or I need to isolate myself and immerse myself in the story and writing an nothing else. Since I can’t do the isolation part, as a single mom and the sole custodian for my children, I will need to plug away at it as needed. In the meantime, this blog and NaBloPoMo has given me a wonderful opportunity to just write. To let the thoughts flow as they might and see what comes of it. Some are good, some are just a triumph in persistence; but the habit of writing every day, the challenge of putting it out there for consumption, the knowledge that there are just no excuses for not doing it has been an incredibly motivating and liberating experience for me.
Just nine more days. And a lifetime left to go.