I don’t know how I found time to write this post. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month AND Picture Book Idea Month in November. At the same time. That means any extra minute I’m not working, walking my dog, or spending time with my boyfriend and family, I’m click-clacking on my laptop. I may or may not have dictated this blog post to my phone while doing my nightly neck stretches. Multitasking is necessary right now.
I’ve written 1,600 words per day (of a middle grade novel) and thought of one picture book idea per day since Sunday, November 1. That is HUGE. This celebration via blog post (party of one) is premature, but I’m proud of myself for buckling down the past five days.
Growing up, I found it hard to stay committed to recreational activities. I quit karate after two weeks. I barely (and reluctantly) practiced piano during three years of lessons (pretty sure my piano teacher hated me for this). My soccer career never advanced beyond a week-long soccer camp. But I always wrote. I always committed to writing.
That’s not to say that I wrote every day. In fact, I periodically stopped writing for months or years. My schedule was inconsistent and I often wrote only when something inspired me or struck me like a ton of bricks.
In the past year, I’ve learned that to improve my writing, I have to write. A lot. And frequently. I’m proving my commitment by participating in NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo, at the same time. What better way to really show myself than biting off more than I can chew?
But November is smooth sailing as of last night. Will I have doubts? Yes. Will I go a day or two without writing 1,600 words and thinking of a new picture book idea? Probably. (Likely when I’m stuffing my face with turkey.) Will I want to quit? Likely more than once. But I won’t let myself. I’m going to finish both challenges, no matter what. Even if it means catching up on my word count post food coma.
Writing, like any passion, is a commitment. And I’m committing myself to writing that book I’ve dreamed of writing since I was too short to ride the big kid rides.