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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