Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Nanowrimo and Parenting or Again


Again, by Rowena Murillo

The first time I did nano, I had a one year old and I was pregnant with my second. I went through the infant stages, the toddler stages, preschooler, kindergartner, early elementary and now the mid grade years. Every year, I managed to keep them alive and fed and relatively clean and happy. Nine years later and I have attempted nano every year and only failed the year I also moved cross country in November.

The thing about nanowrimo is that life never gets out of the way for it. Every year, it's the holidays. Every year, there are technical difficulties with family and work and living and health and relationships and money and time. Every single year. I've moved in November, twice. Last year I got separated in November. I've struggled with the flu. I've needed to find a new job.

The other thing about nanowrimo is that if you keep going, if you keep putting one word down after the other, if you keep giving yourself 15 minutes, half an hour, nap time, the minutes while the chicken is baking, an afternoon while grandma babysits, an hour after the kids go down for the night, if you keep giving yourself that time to write and you actually do it, you will succeed.

Make the time. Keep writing. Don't judge yourself. Don't edit. Sit down and write. Find the time. Commit. Just do it. Write. In little bits and drabbles or in long bingeing periods where you forget to eat and neglect your kids (actually don't neglect your kids, just pawn them off on someone else) just keep writing.

Nanowrimo tells me that over the course of the last 9 years, I have written over half a million words during nanowrimo. That's right. 500,000 words. And that's not counting the work I've done outside of November, the new work, the research, the outlining, the editing, the revising. I actually have one full, finished final manuscript that I am sending out to agents. And I have become a much better writer for all the effort.

As parents, we might not have as much free time as other nanowrimo participants. We might have more responsibilities and sticky handed time bandits, but we also know what matters in life. We know what matters to us. We know that if we want something, we have to take care of it.

So the first question to ask yourself at the beginning of nanowrimo is this: how much do you want it?

The second question to ask is what will you to do take care of it?

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