Today, I declared my writing project for November’s upcoming National Novel Writing Month challenge. The challenge is to write 1,667 words every day for 30 days, which should result in a 50,000 word manuscript. This spring, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, a sister event in which writers are free to edit or revise as well as write a manuscript. My project for November will be the same as the summer camp event, a fantasy novel I am writing called The Alchemist’s Daughter. I’ve already begun writing it in webnovel form on Wattpad and Inkitt, and my goal is to keep writing through November and finish up book one of what should be a three book series!
Making it Official
Making the commitment to write for NaNoWriMo 2022 officially felt like a big accomplishment. When I first attempted this project, I was more used to writing academic papers and fanfiction than creative original fiction. However, rediscovering my love of fantasy novels during quarantine inspired me to craft a story set in the magical kingdom my sister and I made up as kids. My life has changed a lot in the last year and a half, and through some painful times writing my novel was a huge part of my vision for how I wanted to change my life for the better. Today, as I wrote an outline for the story, my goal became closer to reality! I’m really proud of myself already, and enthusiastic for what the future holds.
Past, Present, and Future
My old life as a freelance journalist involved constantly communicating with other writers, sharing my work on social media, promoting myself and my work and keeping up with the subjects I wrote about. I was always “on”, and always looking outwards. Writing a novel is a much more mindful process. I’ve found that for me, it requires a slower pace of writing, to allow time for my imagination’s insights. It also requires looking inward, getting to know my imagination and voice. Much like meditation, writing a novel requires awareness of the mind. I am enthusiastic about the calm, peace, and gratitude that this process is bringing, and will continue to bring, to my life.
My biggest challenge on the road ahead will be time management. As a freelance journalist, my time was very booked. I covered sports, so I spent hours a night watching sports and most of my free time after work writing. For various reasons I wanted to be that busy, and I enjoyed my work. But, I was spending more time with my remote work colleagues than my family, more time writing than resting, and at one point found myself writing for three different online publications and co-hosting a podcast. It was fun, but along with a full time job it was exhausting. I said goodbye to my freelancing commitments this summer, and focused on finding my voice and crafting my destiny as a novelist, which was always my dream.
I have much more time to rest, which has been good for my body and my personal relationships. I can write at a much less demanding pace, since I am working on my own original concepts-essentially, working for myself! I am enthusiastic and proud of all I have accomplished. However, I know that time management is the hardest part of balancing work, family, self care, and writing goals.
I took a quiz on the National Novel Writing Month website to determine my time management style. My results recommended writing in small amounts of time squeezed in between other responsibilities, for 15-30 minutes a day. This sounds reasonable, and I look forward to immersing myself in the world of my novel whenever I get the chance!
My web serial, The Alchemist’s Daughter, is available to read online on Wattpad here, and Inkitt here
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