It’s been a very long time since I went a November without participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Honestly, it feels super weird not to be churning out a ridiculous number of words in a month – 50,000 in 30 days. It feels weird not to be taking the time each day to stretch that fiction writing muscle, the typing muscle, the creative muscle.
“I’ve been working on my revision instead,” I tell myself. But, in reality, I’ve been flailing around trying to keep up with life and balancing a creative pursuit with what life is throwing my way, while also sometimes working on my revision.
My revision is going. It’s going. It’s going slowly.
You might be thinking, “Oh, my god, you say this every time we get it.” (Or maybe that’s my Critic trying to make me feel bad for this post). But, you must understand that I am wholly uncomfortable with going slowly when it comes to personal projects. I don’t work slowly. I work in 2 week bursts of projects with deadlines that come on suddenly. It has taken me a very long time to acknowledge the fact that I am very much not patient with myself.
I am learning though.
I am taking the time to work in little bits and pieces this time. I’m not rushing.
However, these little pieces end up getting spaced out too much and I forget where I was or what my train of thought had been leading to. So I need to rethink the time I’ve been taking for this project. Once per week is not enough to keep my thoughts in place. I need to put a little bit of work in every day, or just most days, to make sure it’s top of mind.
Recently, I heard the idea of taking a calendar and putting a sticker on days when you’ve done even a little bit of work on your project. Maybe starting at something as simple as 5 minutes per day, working up to more in increments. I have stickers…I have a calendar….I could do that.
So, if you’ve stuck with me, I’m going to start keeping myself accountable in a nurturing way, rather than a judgmental way. I’m still making progress (22/56 of the main plot scene cards are done!) and I’m still celebrating that progress (we made a quiche!). This isn’t to get things done faster, but to keep myself aligned with the story I want to tell.
What ways do you keep track of your writing progress? Is your way nurturing you or causing self judgement?