I am unique; therefore, my process for writing is unique. I have learned to be okay with that, but it is not always easy. National Novel Writing Month started on the first of November. This is my forth year to participate, although I have only won once (it is a consistency thing . . . I am dealing with it).
This time of year, there are all types of articles shared about the right ways to get the writing done. NaNo is not alone in its “how to write” guide sharing. Most of the internet content gurus have at least one article floating around that will tell you all about the fastest, bestest, speediest way get the words on paper (or online, depending on your chosen method).
I have read their advice. I have tested a number of the tips. I have written my own “how to write” articles. I have discovered that there really is only one way to get the writing done. You have to write. It is that simple. How you choose to write will depend on your unique circumstances. Like in all things, for something to work it must work for you.
My BEST Make It Write Moments
1. After the tornadoes came through our community in April of 2011, everything in our lives drastically changed. The first few days, I had no internet at all. The next few months, I had to utilize an air card to be able to connect to the internet. We were out of our home for six months, living in a two bedroom, singlewide mobile home WITH MY FATHER-IN-LAW.
I had to learn to be flexible about when I could write. The first few weeks the only electricity we had was a generator. I tried to be sure that I got most of my writing done when I could plug into the generator (and I definitely made sure to charge the laptop during that time). I learned to write at my makeshift desk when possible, but also at the picnic table, on the floor or where ever I could find a place to write. I used my laptop when electricity was available, but also used my “go to favorites” a lot more than I had been (that would be paper and a pencil for me).
We are back in the home, but I have carried those lessons over into our new location. I like changing things up. It helps me to keep the words inspired. Some days I take the laptop on to the back porch and write as the sun takes its place in the morning sky. Some days I sit in the car waiting for the kids to finish their meeting and utilize the ole paper and pencil. Sometimes I lock myself away in my new bedroom “office (although with three home schooled boys, this one only works if nobody is home – locked door simply means you need to knock louder as you repeat, ‘Mom’).
Changing up the environment works for me. It helps me make it work even when nothing seems to want to work in my direction. Think about your most productive moments and set about to recreate those moments for your day to day.
2. On October 29, the entire Cub Scout pack and their families (parents, siblings, grandparents and more) all came to our house for an event. Prior to that day, I had instituted “the list.” It included things that absolutely had to be done, things that I thought needed to be done, and things that I have dreamed of being done (but recognized that it was a wishful thinking at best). Our home was open to the Cubs and their family – but the list was not complete when they showed up. Not a single person pointed out the incomplete issues. Not a single person pointed out the imperfections around the home. Most of those that came complimented the site and thanked us for opening our home.
We have had garden groups, women’s groups, home schooling groups, church groups and family activities in and around our home. I have learned that the people that come to enjoy the company and build relationships notice the good, positive and uplifting and overlook the imperfections. Those other people – the ones that are always looking for me to stumble and cheering for me to fall – they will always find a reason or a way to tear it down.
I have found that when I open my heart, pour out my words, and clean it all up the best that I can, that people are mostly receptive. Those that want to be a blessing and want to experience a blessing will appreciate the effort. Those other people . . . well, I have a limited amount of time and resources and I am not about to waste them on those other people.
3. In March of 2012, I announced to my husband that if he would give me one year, I would be in a position to launch my writing career to the level that I desired. “I just need one year of not having to worry about making a living so that I can focus on making the words.” He agreed. Two weeks later, my mother died. All of the scheduling that I had been doing now flew out the window. I focused on my dad, helping him with cleaning up and cleaning out, and just being there. One month after my mother passed, my father-in-law had a heart attack. Again, all of the planning I had done was out the window.
It happens. Life throws you a curve ball. I found little pieces of time to write. I stayed up a little later at night and got up a little earlier so that I would have my quiet time. I found that when I made a choice to get things done, I got things done. I also discovered that the more I had added to my “must-do” list (which is at a more intense level than the basic “to-do” list) the fewer excuses I came up with not to do something. Once I was involved in doing, it was easier to do the next thing.
Overfilling your plate will make it tough not to spill something out. Underfilling the plate can make it easier to put off doing – building a habit of procrastination. Fulfilling your list of what you know to do will keep you on target with doing – build a habit of consistency.
Find what works for you. It is okay to listen to the experts, but put into practice those things that will help you get better in doing not make it more cumbersome.