Keep On Keeping On: On Pushing Through

(there are a lot of “on”s in that title, aren’t there? lol)

I write this as I begin Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts today, July 1. For the next 30 days, I will be working on a new book (contemporary fiction). This is in addition to working on a sci-fi/speculative fiction novel for the Clarion Write-A-Thon, which started June 22 and runs until August 2. I am also putting the final final edits on my upcoming book, The Camille Chronicles, which debuts next month.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I took on all these projects.

Still, doing all this writing is just further throwing my lot into a career as a writer. All too often in the past, I have treated my craft as a hobby or afterthought: I was a ______ who wrote on the side and will publish a book ______ (insert increasingly far date into the future). Now, I’m going all in: I am a writer. Period. And my first solo book comes out in August 2014.

With all this writing, I prioritize. The Camille Chronicles is coming out soon, so that is priority so that I can get the word out there. The Clarion book is second on that list, because I am being held accountable by virtue of entering the online workshop. Same goes for Camp NaNoWriMo. In the middle of all that is everyday life, which must be lived. That means that there are days when I a choice between a nap and writing, and that nap is like that ex-flame that comes back into your life: attractive, but not necessarily in your best interests.

(I’m talking about naps for the heck of them, not naps as an attempt to correct a sleep deficit or a health issue)

Last night was one of those nights. I was working on The Camille Chronicles when I realized that I hadn’t done any writing on the Clarion story (this was around 10:30 pm). I worked on it a bit and, according to my word counter, did 681 words. That’s great, but my target daily goal is 775 words, and I didn’t write at all on Friday (Day 6 of the Write-A-Thon). I was very tempted to just roll with those 681 words and call it a night, but I told myself that I only had to do another 100 words (yes, I rounded up) to meet and exceed my goal.

One hundred words. A few sentences, especially when you’re as wordy as I can be. 😀 A paragraph, at most.

Such a small thing but when you’re tired, and you have other stuff to do (stuff that may be more important in the short-term), it’s easy to take the path of least resistance.

Well, I pushed through. And ended up writing 991 words.

I was very proud of myself because I REALLY wanted a nap (that glass of wine with dinner didn’t help matters). And I REALLY wanted to get back to The Camille Chronicles, especially since I’d figured out a breakthrough in a plot problem I’ve been toying with. And I thought of people who may be monitoring my progress, unbeknownst to me, who may be getting a bit of encouragement from my brain droppings and progress. It would have been easy to say, “Hey, it’s late at night and I’ll just write more tomorrow. I actually did say that to myself. But tomorrow comes and something else happens, and I’m even further behind, and then I’d get discouraged and eventually quit. I don’t want that to happen.

For the first time, I finished National Novel Writing Month  in November 2013. I’d participated (more or less) for six years prior to then, and for each of those six years I failed to reach the 50,000 word goal (approximately 250 pages). I didn’t even get to 25,000 words. Why? Because I didn’t push through. I used excuses. I let other stuff get in the way. I copped out. I’d done this for the past fourteen years, so it was as comfortable as my favorite pair of jeans.

This past year, I made an effort to do what I should have been doing all along:  I wrote every day. I wrote more than my daily target goal. I made it a priority. I made time for it. To finally reach that winner’s circle was an awesome feeling. I felt like I’d not only accomplished a key goal, but that there may be hope for me with this writing thing after all.

NaNoWriMo 2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

And that book that I finally finished for National Novel Writing Month? It comes out in  August, and it’s called The Camille Chronicles.

See what happens when you push through?

Thanks for stopping by.



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