Exploring Consistency

So starting a daily blog during a severe power outage wasn’t my best idea.  Our generator broke, and there went my connection to the internet and my ability to blog.  Rather than fussing with entries, I’ve been devoting most of my electronics time to something special (which I will discuss momentarily below), and I definitely think it was the right decision. 

One of the things that has always gotten me really tripped up is consistency.  I want to make change, but have never been any good at developing a new routine or habit.  I always have a strong start that maybe lasts one week, but then I slide into my old way of doing things, and my new resolutions slip to the wayside.  This affects everything from improving my bedtime routine to developing a healthy dance practice to exercising my creativity on a daily basis.  All things which are very important to me.  

This month finds me once again trying to establish a daily routine and achieve a daily goal, but this time I have a worldwide support system to help me do it.  I’ve always said that I want to write a novel, and when I graduated in May and all my professors kept asking me what my plans were, I said I was going to write a book and dance.  Well, I’m still dancing, so now it’s time for me to write that book.  So I joined the ranks of November novelists everywhere and signed up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).  That’s right.  If you know anything about Nanowrimo, you know that I have one month to write the first 50,000 words of my novel.    

I’m not a very fast writer (or reader for that matter), and I’m not one of those kids who can fall behind and then bust out 20,000 words in a day to catch up.  CONSISTENCY is the only thing that’s going to get me through this month.  If I write 1,667 words everyday this month, and I will “win” Nanowrimo (aka reach the 50,000 word benchmark).  It’s day 5 and so far I am perfectly on track to reach 8,334 words this evening, and I am really, really proud of myself.  I’ve tried Nanowrimo before (granted I was still in school), and I never made it even this far.  I loved to talk about my novel, but I never actually did any writing.  Well, I’m finally doing it, and if I take things one day at a time, I might just win this thing.

The Office of Letters and Light posted a great blog by Kevin Kaiser (which you can read here), and he gave an amazing piece of advice.  He told us budding writers to always remember that we’re just making stuff up.  And it’s so true.  We are just making stuff up!  Every time I begin to feel overwhelmed by the looming word count ahead, I repeat that little mantra to myself, and the relief from the pressure is almost immediate.  I have been setting these incredibly high standards for myself my entire life, and it actually has begun to inhibit me from doing the things I love.  This month, I have a new habit of consistently making stuff up.  50,000 words of make believe.  That doesn’t sound so bad does it? 

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From Somewhere in New Jersey…

Today, I sit here writing in the midst of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sally.  This post is made possible by a cute little generator sitting out in the backyard.  I’ve been listening to it hum and purr all day.  It has served as a constant reminder of what I need to do.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep, but it wasn’t the wind howling through the trees or the eerie flashes of light in the sky–green, blue, purple, then murky brown–that kept me awake.  It was the commotion in my mind.  As the storm raged outside, I imagined potential arguments, planned ways to justify future misdeeds, and relived past hurts.  The crack of a falling tree would occasionally startle me out of my fabricated and fantasized life, but damn, I was in the middle of an unprecedented and potentially life threatening storm and not even that could hold me in the present.  My mind and my life are out of control, and it’s time I started getting honest about it.

So for the next 30 days, I’m going to do just that.  I’m going to be brutally honest with myself.  I want to take stock of my life, see where changes need to be made, and then make them.  I’m going to document everything here, every single day.  No excuses.  Don’t think I’m up to the challenge?  Then, watch and learn.  Cause this is the sound of a girl hitting rock bottom and getting right back up again.  I’m done with the state of my life up until now, and I’m turning a new leaf.  I am going to love my life again.