As many bloggers are also writers, NaNoWriMo is nothing new to most people. But for those who don't know, it's a month-long event during November where the goal is to write 50,000 words and finish your novel.
In 2014, I decided to try it out after seeing so many authors and bloggers talk about how that helped them write. I organized my ideas and made an outline and then set out on my journey to finally start the novel that I had been thinking about for years. I wrote around 18K words and it felt amazing. I continued to write for a couple months afterwards an reached 33K. However, college sadly got in the way and I didn't have too much time to write anymore.
Flash forward to November 2015. NaNo crept up quickly on me, and I was unprepared. After almost a year of being away from my WIP, I didn't know where to start. I tried to force myself into my writing, but I just couldn't get into the groove. I might have written 400 words, but it was a struggle to write one word. I had no clue where my inspiration and drive had gone. I'd lost it. I felt terrible the entire month and for most of December.
But then I realized that my sadness, while hard to deal with, was unreasonable.
Yes, of course I was doing to feel disappointed in myself. But the thing is: WRITING IS NOT MY JOB.
My income is not dependent on whether I write or not. I'm a full-time college student. A college student who isn't even studying Creative Writing or anything English-related, so of course it's natural for writing to not take precedence. It would be incredibly challenging for me to write 50K words in just 30 days. I needed to change my mentality when came to writing.
Writing is a great thing for me to do, but not for me to pressure myself to do. While I don't have time to write as much as I'd like right now, I will one day. A day where I don't have work and school. I'm still in college, and that comes first. I can write whenever I have time. I'm not on a deadline.
My goal is to write 50K this year, but it is not just in November. I hope to finish my first draft of my WIP, and East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling, this year. I'm not going to force myself to write; I'm going to let it happen when it happens. Writing should be enjoyable, not stressful. And I need to remind myself whenever I feel stressed.