November Writing Progress Update and Wrapping Up NaNoWriMo

I’ve been uncommonly busy. I look back through my journal and am just amazed by the pace at which certain projects moved and how many to-do lists went barely half-finished.

November Writing Progress Update and Wrapping Up NaNoWriMo
My cat hanging out in my bookshelves. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record: who else is just reeling by how weird time is right now? We should mint a new word: I’d love to see them add “slowfast” to the dictionary. In a sentence: November has been slowfast!

I’ve been uncommonly busy. I look back through my journal and am just amazed by the pace at which certain projects moved and how many to-do lists went barely half-finished. To employ a juggling metaphor: sometimes you just have to learn to be okay with dropping a lot of balls… As my friendly readers might remember from October, a big one this year was stopping my YouTube reading vlogging and closing my Patreon again after barely seven months, which was a bittersweet hit to my confidence at sustaining self-directed long-term side projects.

→ En français svp!

Then, as many aspiring writers and novelists are wont to do: I attempted NaNoWriMo in November. My last NaNoWriMo was an attempt to write a fantasy YA novel in 2017 and it was a pretty mediocre experience. Knowing I had a lot of client work scheduled throughout the month (ideally, if I ever do the full version of NaNoWriMo again, I would want to have enough saved up to take the entire month off from client work), I decided to work on four short stories instead, one per week, with a rough goal of writing between 2,500 to 5000 words a week.

Chill NaNoWriMo (as I dubbed it) was a mixed bag this year. I hit my goal on Week 1, somewhat hit my goal on Week 3, and to my credit I did work on two different short story ideas and ended up with a third nebulous idea for a new novel manuscript. So it wasn’t a total loss. But Week 2 and Week 4 saw me barely writing at all, which was very discouraging. The chief culprits were principally a lack of time and energy that saw me unable to dedicate enough time to each weekly writing sprint. A handful of positives that came out of the experience is that it forced me to look over my writing notes from the past decade, it helped get me in the mood to write, and also helped me create some personalized bullet journal and scheduling templates for writing sprints that I absolutely plan to use in the future.

Also: I did manage to write in cafés a handful of times for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic and I had missed doing that so much!

However, if there is one absolute positive to come out of the past couple months writing-wise: I am extremely happy with how my short story offerings on this blog are going. I was super nervous about showing exclusive excerpts of drafts and commentary of my own original writing to my blog patrons, as I really thought absolutely no one would be interested. In fact, I’ve received some really encouraging feedback on both my Jumping Spider draft in October and my Haunted Tea House draft from November. That’s been so motivating, and a huge boost to my morale. Never doubt the power of words! Even the smallest positive or critically engaged comment can have an amazing impact on someone. (If you’ve ever wondered at the extraordinary writing stamina of some fanfiction writers: look to their comments section and to the writing community and support around them.)

On a different note: I have to take off more time than expected this December for medical reasons, but I am planning at least two more updates for the end of the year. One will be a fun “My Year In Books” post, and I’m drafting a personal text about … dance!

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ve probably noticed an increase of posts about ballet. I have a lot on my mind about my disabilities, my return to dance, and some medical things I’m dealing with. If that kind of post would be of interest, drop me a note. I’ve been struggling especially with how much of the medical aspects I want to reveal, and how angry I become while drafting because it essentially describes the medical ableism and malpractice I’ve experienced for over a decade.

Anyways, that’s my little writing recap of the late fall and early winter. Let me know how your writing went! Did you attempt NaNoWriMo? And “slowfast” as an adjective: yay or nay?

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