Like many of you on MicroBlog, I’m going to give NaNoWriMo a good go this November. Like some of you, I’ve tried before and like a few of you I’ve failed to get anywhere near the 50,000 words – or even get a decent routine going - in previous attempts.
It’s fair to say that being a procrastinator is a barrier to achieving a lot in life. Procrastination is an extension of anxiety, anxiety is an extension of poor self-esteem and fear. There are those out there who fly through life with little more than a winning smile and an outrageous amount of bottle. I admire these people, I really do, but from a distance and without interacting with them.
I left my career as a mental health nurse in 2018 after some twenty years. Truth be told, I wasn’t ever enthusiastic about the job. I cared, and I always treated both the service users and staff with respect, but I fell into the career as both my parents were mental health nurses, and it seemed like the right thing to do. There wasn’t any pressure, I think I lacked imagination regarding opportunities and seeking those opportunities out.
Anyway, a few days before my final shift, I had an epiphany. I was still a staff nurse, the same grade (essentially) as the day I qualified. Nothing wrong with that, plenty of nurses stay a staff-nurse and work happily until retirement. The difference was, I was a passenger in my own decision. It wasn’t a conscious one, I had just remained a staff-nurse because I hadn’t tried to push myself any higher.
This turned my mind on to my dream career as a writer. I’d tried, and failed, to get a routine going with my writing and always quit when things got tough (which they always do, don’t they?) Even now, I’ve got a completed story ready to send off to agents that I’m procrastinating/scared about. I’ve drafted that many times, I’m starting to go cross-eyed. Sure, it isn’t perfect – but that’s the thing; if a writer is waiting for the perfect draft, then no stories get completed. At some point, it has to be set free and, of course, better ideas and ways to improve it will inevitably come to mind.
Which Leads me to…
The reason for this blog. Tomorrow (31/12/22) I am going to send my story for younger children off to five agents. Chances are, no-one will be interested, but you know what? I’ll send it off to some more.
Meanwhile, in NaNoWriMo, I will do everything I can to write a story that has been hanging around my brain for over two-decades. I’m scared stiff, to be honest. There are plots I’m stumped over, but I believe if you put the effort in, then the universe will drop the answers in your lap – as long as you keep your eyes open.
This is my way of keeping myself accountable, and I intend to blog every Sunday to update my progress.
Thanks for reading.