- None this week
Stories in Progress:
- Some People Get To Play At Being A Princess (Title Pending)
- 51,532 words
And just like that November has come and gone! National Novel Writing Month has ended and as you can see by my final word count, I managed to write a little over 50,000 words! But that’s not what was important to me. My greatest accomplishment this month was writing nearly 4 short stories that I can revise throughout the year in 2019! And of course, there are 4 other stories in my collection draft that I will work on this month.
As I thought about this blog post and what to say, I began to focus on the areas where I struggled the most during the month. About halfway through the month, I had a revelation: I struggle to write self-contained short stories. When I was an MFA student, one of the comments I heard often when one of my stories was being workshopped was “I think this should be longer.” At first, I was inspired by this because I want to be a novelist. But the more and more I heard that comment or some variation of it, I started to feel disheartened because I wanted to become a decent short story. This month, I ran into the same problem again. As I wrote, I realized that many of the stories I wrote couldn’t be condensed into a short story. The story I worked on this past week was difficult to write for multiple reasons, but the main reason was because I realized the story wouldn’t fit inside the short story form. Of course, I know the best remedy is to step away from the story and come back to it with fresh eyes in a couple of months. And I know one day, I’ll learn how to properly write a short story. But it is frustrating encountering this struggle again.
Another struggle I had this month was writing fatigue. Everyone’s heard the advice that you should write every day and it’s certainly an admirable goal to set. But writing the same project every day for a month or longer can be tiring. I’ll admit the this last week was difficult to get through because I was starting to grow tired of what I was writing and I wanted to start on a different project. I think writing every day is something all writers should try to do. But I think it’s okay to step back from a project if you feel like you’ve hit a wall. Of course, I aim to finish the short story collection draft by the end of this month, but now that the challenge is over, I no longer feel the need to push for 2,000 words every day. Whether I write 100 or 2,000 words, I’m making progress and I’m improving as a writer.
What will I do now?
I’m taking a break this weekend. I plan on reading, playing some video games, decorating the house for the holidays and organizing and cleaning my room. Maybe I’ll write something, maybe I won’t. Whatever I decide, I won’t beat myself up over it.
After this weekend, I’ll open up my project in Scrivener again and start writing again. November was a great month for me and I think it’s because I wrote nearly every day. And I want to continue to build off of that.
NaNoWriMo, like always, reinvigorated me and made me feel more confident as a writer. I’ve learned some things about myself and my writing process. I connected with a lot of new writers who will grow and develop along with me. And I wrote in a genre that always intimidated me in the past. I made some mistakes and missteps, but in the end, it will lead to me developing into the writer that I want to be.
Yesterday after work, I went to a fast food restaurant and ran into my senior year English teacher. I remember her class well because it was one of the few classes where I enjoyed the teacher and my classmates. Needless to say, she was one of my favorite teachers and one of the teachers who made a profound impact on my education.
After talking to her for a few minutes and telling her where I was in life, she said “I’m proud of you. Are you proud of you?” I took a moment and said that I was proud of me. And I genuinely meant it. I’m proud of what I accomplished this month and what I’ll continue to accomplish. I’m not perfect, but I’m always improving and it’s great knowing that I will always continue to improve.
No matter what you accomplished this month, take some time to honor your achievements! We did it and we’ll continue to put in the work to reach our dreams!
PS- I know I’ve promised this in the past, but I really will post a book review soon. Be on the lookout for that!