NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 17: Trimming Sails

by | Nov 17, 2016 |

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” — Jimmy Dean

I have a cold.

I’ve had a cold since Saturday morning, when I woke up with an achy, raw throat. If I think about it, there were hints of it coming on Friday evening, but Saturday is when it hit full force. I get raw throats regularly as the weather changes (fall to winter and winter to spring), so I took the appropriate meds, packed a supply of throat lozenges and headed off to Starbucks to do my morning writing there, just like I do every Saturday. It’s an indulgence, a chance to get away and be among people without actually dealing with them.

I should have indulged myself and stayed in bed — which is where I went after I got and stayed for the rest of the weekend.

The wind is not looking favorable for me for NaNo this year. I’m behind, with a gap that’s growing bigger every day. I do not surrender, however. I look at my priorities. Finish the Valentine’s Day short collection is primary on the list, followed by pushing ahead on the draft of Home and the Heartland, so I won’t have to shift my schedule on that so much. I love NaNo, love being a part of the community and the rush of getting those words done in that finite amount of time. But I’m trying to get these stories published, so that means trimming my sails a little to make certain that remains that first and foremost goal.

Actually, to be honest, the writing isn’t my chief goal at this very moment. That’s self-care. I am, as I’m sure many other folks are, approaching the busy period of the year for my corporate day job, rushing to get end of year taken care of while simultaneously putting things in place for the year to come. It’s exhausting and grueling, and if I don’t take care of myself and get my strength back, I’ll easily work myself into being even sicker. I spent the first four months of 2015 with a chronic sinus infection. I don’t recommend it and would like to avoid doing that again.

At the same time, getting writing done is part of my self-care routine. It is often the one thing in the universe it feels as if I can control. Oceans rise and empires fall, but I make the decision to put my pen to paper each day or hands on keyboard and form the words of my stories. When I don’t, I feel as if I’ve left something undone.

How’s your NaNo going? Are the winds strong and in your favor, or are you feeling buffeted. Take some time for yourself today — just a few minutes — and look at where you are and where you need to be. It’s different for each of us, but it may be time to adjust your sails so you reach your destination, which should be a finished first draft, whether you make 50,000 words by November 30 or no. It’s never smooth sailing when you’re writing, but here’s hoping the winds are good for you today.

Word Count Goal: 28,339

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