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Why NaNoWriMo was a wake up call for me

Took a few minutes to bask in the light of completing NaNoWriMo. I thanked the supporters and the naysayers alike; I gave myself a hearty pat on the back. Now I’m taking a minute to catch up with life before I decide where I’m heading creatively in 2011.

This year, I spent a lot of time working on everything but writing. I repaired and rebuilt more computers than I cared to count. With the help of some really talented people, the online magazines are up and running well. Kids are all happy enjoying their life and the spouse is inching ever closer to her degree in architecture. I’ve even made time to play mentor and student–trading places when needed mind you–though I admittedly played student more than mentor. And while I enjoyed doing it all, I see that I need to spend more time writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved NaNo. I wrote more words last month than I had in years. But let’s be real, thirty days does not a writer make. If I want live this crazy dream of being a writer, then I better do it more than a month out of the year. Let me rephrase that. I need to write more consistently if I am going to be the writer I dream of becoming. Writing a little here and maybe a little there isn’t going to cut it. I’m either going to do it or I’m not.

That’s why I need to sit down and really map out a schedule for myself. I am not going to find time to write. I am making more time to write. Maybe if I come up with a regular writing routine, I can be more productive with my writing, and then I can have more material in circulation. It may not improve my chances at placing a book somewhere, but it couldn’t hurt either.

And if it did hurt, it would be a lot less that waking up one day and realizing that I never did write that book I said I would write…someday.

Photo by Shrieking Tree

Published in NaNoWriMo


  1. little h little h

    I have been pondering lately why there are not more known women writers/female poets on the scene. I think one reason may be they spend too much time nurturing and worrying about the needs of others- putting their creative time on hold for yet another day. The demands on them get to the point of disturbing. Then the days turn into years. I don’t think many of them take themselves seriously enough (and God knows female not being in the kitchen can upset many, even as “liberated” as we have become.

    I’ve tried the schedule thing, the “this many poems a day” plan. Has never worked thus far. Never been a fan of schedules, never been great at staying organized. So what I am trying to do is just get to the point where I am doing something creative every day- and in a way that has to do with my own work, because I can get so sidetracked by enjoying all the other wonderful work of others via my bookshelf and online. That is great and inspiring, but when everything becomes a distraction from your own work then that is a problem.

    This is a great post and I am happy to see you contemplate being a “selfish writer”. 😉 Time moves way too swiftly for you not to be selfish about your own creative work at least once a day.

    • Trinae Ross Trinae Ross

      I agree with the points you make about putting your own writing on the back burner for other projects. Don’t get me wrong, I think writers being their for one another is a great thing. It is what the community should be about. But there comes a time where you have to put yourself first. You can spend days listening to other people’s ideas and giving feedback, but it’s not going to get your pages written.

      Scheduling works for me. Without something to give me focus, I am all over the place. A schedule helps me pinpoint what I need to be doing versus allowing myself to get distracted.

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