It is difficult to let go of a goal. Or even change the goal. Actually it is not the goal itself, rather it is letting go of the interim step, the first step, towards the main goal. The main goal is book three of the sci-fi series, tentatively titled The Blades. The interim step was writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November (NaNoWriMo ). It was meant to be the leap off the cliff with the introduction of Uncle Reslo as a point of view character and the beginnings of figuring out the mysterious woman (or the b**** in the corner) who showed up out of nowhere while writing the first 52,000 words of book two, The Balance (written in the NaNoWriMo challenge in 2012). I figured that this year I now had the opportunity to find out who the heck is she and what does she want. – You can read chapter nineteen in The Balance to meet her.
While I did make a solid stab at that interim goal with over 33,000 words and I am getting to know both Reslo and Sarinne (that b*** now has a name, which I did discover during those 33,000 words), I still feel sad that I did not WIN the 50,000 word challenge. I participate in a weekly writing group that had gotten to know each other during the 2012 NaNoWriMo where I started The Balance. Four of the six of us took on the challenge this year. Three WON! I am so proud of their efforts. Two of them did not think they could do it in the beginning because the writing process is so different from how they have been writing.
And here I am, having succeeded with my first NaNoWriMo challenge in 2012 and having published two books in the last two years, and this year I only managed 33,000 words in 30 days. — I kind of want to hear an ‘oh, you poor thing,’ from you on this but I know that won’t happen. — It took a comment from Rondi, one of the writing group’s members who was working on editing a MG book instead of doing the NaNoWriMo challenge, who explained to me that even though I had not written 50,000 words on a single project I had been and was successfully living the life of a writer. That I WAS a winner through my work on editing a quarterly publication for a non-profit organization, assisting that organization with upgrading the management of their membership files and helping their election of board members move forward. And, of course, she added the awareness of the extra duties and travels I was experiencing with my father’s recovery from a serious leg injury (a comminuted fracture, where the bone shatters into three or more pieces, of his femur at age of 89) and all the changes and decisions that needed and still need to be made with the help of my siblings and my father.
After that small lecture she suggested that I go buy a calendar where I can write in each day what I have done as a writer. That includes reading in my genre, research, listening to podcasts on writing, participating in webinars, marketing, editing anything (including my husband’s writings for our square dance business), updating my website, and writing for my blog. She said even reading for pleasure is part of the life of a writer and should be written down. she showed me her calendar, begun just three months ago, and it was a visible record and proof of the FACT that she was a writer every day and not just on one project. I am purchasing that calendar today.
So, while I didn’t complete what I thought would be my first step on one project I did in fact, get my foot planted on the ground and I have momentum to take the next step – it will just take a few more weeks. And now, that is okay because I am a writer and I will live the life of a writer every day. Even if it is jotting down ideas that come to me while driving to and from my father’s rehab facility or shopping for groceries, or meditating in the dry sauna or while swimming laps at the gym.
I am not going to focus on the length of time it takes me to complete that interim step – this is the letting go of the goal part – because I know I will complete it. I can be proud of the fact that I got it started.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu