Something strange happened right after NaNoWriMo started. I finished writing all my blog posts for the month of November and then… I got a job. A job basically in my field, paying a pretty decent amount of money. It is an amazing opportunity and between this new job, my friends’ wedding, and all my graduate school stuff, I have written what basically amounts to 0 words for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve kept up with plotting and blogging and a few other small projects, but the novel? The novel just isn’t coming.
Initially when I realized how far behind I had fallen I thought I’d be more disappointed, but I think I’ve learned something really important about my writing because of this. I’ve really loved having time to write full time – and it’s been really nice to be able to write worry-free – but I know for sure now that I need a secondary something to balance that alone time. A lot of writers write full-time their entire careers, but I’m pretty sure that just isn’t in me. I have so many other things I love to do, and if I don’t allow myself to be distracted by other stuff – a job, school, whatever – I obsess so much about my stories that they end up going nowhere.
I know I’ll finish the books I want to write. I’ll publish the poetry, the stories. I’ll keep pushing myself to write every day, but I’ll let the things I learn and experience doing things besides writing influence me and inspire me. I know most advice for writers is to not wait for inspiration to strike, and I’m not: I’m still going to write, but I’m going to focus on finding my voice first.
One of my friends that reads my blogs commented recently that she can tell that I’m still holding something back. My words are not as strong as they could be, my thoughts not as honest, my writing not as powerful. A lot in my life is changing – as it does – and though I’m certain I’ll not finish my 50k in the next 10 days, I’m far more confident about my writing career today than I was when I decided to begin this year’s NaNoWriMo. I don’t need to force it to happen, because it will. I just need to keep working towards it and not let myself get disappointed when the words don’t come, because they will, in time. I just need to learn how to let them out.