I failed at my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. I failed miserably, in true Aly-fashion. An exciting idea was met with an initial burst of energy and followed by a tailwind of neglect. I ain’t mad about it.
Goals of any sort have to be manageable. They have to take into consideration all of the other things that happen in life that enable you to make an attempt at achieving something. For me, a large part of that is my job — a teacher. It takes a lot of energy, creativity, patience, resourcefulness, and time to be a teacher. It’s a job that you take home with you, whether it’s marking or thoughts about things that went wrong and how to right them. There are other things that I need to do, too, like eating, sleeping, relaxing, commuting, and socializing. All of these things enable me to write.
These are the things that also take time away from writing because they are so much easier to do. If I really wanted to, I’m sure that it would be easy enough to find at least an hour in every day to sit down and write. I could gain some time by not watching YouTube Shorts on my phone while sitting on the toilet. I could sit at my desk for a few minutes after dinner instead of on the couch. I could do a few things, like the dishes or the tidying, with a little more urgency so that there’s a few extra minutes for writing.
Despite all of this, there’s really only one thing that I need to overcome in order to write more: the difficulty of it. Writing is hard. Writing well requires mastery. It requires astute attention when reading other people’s work, endless repetition, and persistence. Writing is a craft that sees progress through omission, like carving, and the details are important. To write well, you have to first build the block and then chip away at it until only the inner truth remains.
It’s no small feat.
I didn’t even hit 10% of the NaNoWriMo goal. I do wish that I had written more but I’m able to write during the months of January through October and then in December, too.