New approach, Old Goals

So it’s about time I got back to the novel. For the past month I’ve been neglecting it terribly, and in doing so I’ve also being prioritising things other than myself. Writing is MY relief: for weeks I’ve put it to one side because I haven’t had the time, the inclination, the dedication, the support or the energy to put my own needs first and close myself off to the outside world and get lost in my own.

But this weekend I’ve got back to reading those inspiring blogs written by others on a quest to write, I’ve reminded myself that I need to come first for a little while everday and that, without this required selfishness, my novel will never be complete and I will never achieve that ultimate dream I have. At the heart of it, in neglecting my writing I have been ignoring the part of myself that I truly adore and admire. It’s no wonder, then, that I’ve been feeling a little lost and forlorn, as though I am not accomplishing anything of any real worth.

This isn’t true of course. I’ve had a massively successful February – but not in terms of writing. But that aspect of who I am that I attach value to, that I think is deeply bound to my soul, that makes me feel worthwhile even when everything else around me is falling apart – that part of me is the writer, and I’ve not been true to myself recently. I no longer feel like writing is a potential chore: it’s been too long since I did any writing that it now feels like a ‘should’. Time has reignited my interest and my fingers are itching to type the words that are bouncing around my head.

So, it’s time. I’m abandoning that ‘one sentence a day’ goal that I have ignored for so long now and I’m taking up a new approach. Last November I succeeded in writing 50,000 words in one month: that still stands as the biggest achievement of 2011 for me. I can do it, I did do it! I’m not foolish enough to think I can do it again so soon, or set myself up to fail by attempting it without the support structure of thousands of other NaNoWriMo’s all vying for the same goal. But, what I can do is set myself a realistic target and aim for it each week.

No schedule, no ‘shoulds’, no pressure. Just a simple target of 500 words a week to get me going. This week certainly will be spent mostly getting myself reacquainted with my characters, reminding myself of the story, finding my voice again…but it’s a reasonable target. If I can manage 50K in a month, 500 words in a week should be a doddle…..


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