Month: November 2016

NaNoWriMo: Priorities

NaNoWriMo for me this year is much different than the last time I did it in 2012. Not only have I changed my ‘rules’ for this year but I’m also taking this month as an opportunity to train myself into being a writer worthy of the career I hope to have one day. To do that, I’ve made myself a list of my priorities, not just for this month but for the foreseeable future.

  1. My Marriage – My #1 priority is always my marriage. I’m lucky that we don’t tend to have many issues or disagreements but I definitely do have to work hard to not take what we have for granted. My husband is my biggest fan and supporter and comfort in this world and he deserves more time and effort than anything else in my life.
  2. My Mental Health – Like so many I struggle with my mental health. I have bouts of depression, compulsive tendencies, and severe anxiety. But those are things I can work through, push through. They cannot control my life and I have to take care of myself if I’m going to reach my goals.
  3. My Writing Career – This is a big focus for me, especially in the month of November. I’m working to better my writing ability, upkeep this blog, grow a platform, and dedicate myself to making this far off dream a reality.
  4. My Social Life – My friends understand how important my marriage and my writing are to me. They also understand the mental health struggles I have and help push me to overcome them and live my life. I’ll admit, likely because friends fall as my #3 priority, I don’t have many, but the ones I do have are the most kind, caring, inspiring people I know.
  5. My Retail Career – While I wait for my writing career to take off, I’m working in a department store and I absolutely love it. I love customer service and I love visual merchandising. This job pays the bills and, though I don’t enjoy it as much as writing, offers me the opportunity for advancement with the company.

All of my priorities are somewhat reliant on each other. Striving to build a writing career helps with my mental health, keeping my mental health in check makes my marriage more successful, my friends encourage me stick to all my other priorities, and my retail career funds my ability to prioritize the others.

For me, setting these priorities and writing them down in my writing journal has really helped me focus on what’s important. It’s helped me see that if I want to have all the things I dream of, I have to push myself and limit my extra curriculars.

What are your top priorities and how do you remind yourself of them daily?

NaNoWriMo: Plans Change

November is here, it’s time to write, and yet here I sit staring at the screen wondering where to go from here. Sometimes plans change, and sometimes that’s alright.

As I mentioned in my first NaNo post of the year, this year I was intending to write the first draft of the second book/companion novel to the book I finished for NaNo in 2012. But I also took on the challenge of rewriting that first book. And now, on November 1st, 2016, I’ve sat down at my bar in my new apartment ready to put the story I’ve been lovingly developing, literally, for years in my head into words on the screen and I ca’t seem to get it started.

Beginnings are usually my favorite to write. The first chapter is one of my favorite things to write. It’s a lot of world building and a lot of internal dialog (for this series) and It’s so much fun for me to get to explain bits and pieces. Especially with this new character I’m working with. She’s quirky and in the process of becoming her own person and understanding herself and I love her. But I can’t seem to let her sister go.

The first book, as I’ve nicknamed LiS, was just that, my very first book. It holds a very special place in my heart, being the first thing I’ve ever finished and loved and thrown my whole heart and soul into. It’s a mess, the first draft is sitting in a box printed and beautiful but covered in the pink and purple inks I use for editing. It’s a damn mess, but it’s my baby. And now that baby is sitting in a file on my computer, partially rewritten and begging for my attention.

On the other hand, LiS #2 is sitting in my head ready to come out into the world and grow.

But rewriting my baby.

But creating a new baby.

But rewriting.

But creating.


So here I am, with a blank document and a document with 18,249 words sitting open on my computer, knowing which is the technical “correct” one to choose for NaNo but unable to do it. So plans change. My new goal for NaNo is to write 1,667 words each day. Most of those I plan to add to the 18,249 words of LiS #1, but if one day the juices are flowing and LiS #2 is calling my name, maybe she’ll get my 1,667 words.

I’m breaking all the NaNo rules, changing my plans, and making November my own personal writing month, to be the writer I want to be.

We’ll see how this goes.

Do you strictly follow NaNo rules? Or do you make November your own?