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I have always been one of those people that is much better at ideas than the actual follow through.
You can probably ask any one of my friends about this. I can spend a morning coming up with 36 ideas to write about (as I recently did in a pitch to one of my regular publications) but when it comes to putting a solid pen-to-paper, I’m not quite as good.
Jokingly, I blame it on being an Aries. I’ve always read that we’re just like that: get really enthusiastic and passionate about a project… For about 2 days. And then we’re on to the next great thing, and have forgotten all about that last task we were just SO REALLY VERY excited about.
That’s always been me. And although I don’t actually believe in astrology, it’s still fun to think about it. But I know that it’s not good or healthy for me to be this kind of person. Instead, the more I grow and learn about myself in these last 30 years of life, the more I realize that it’s something I should work on. More importantly, though, I need to partner with people who can help me see things through.
So when it came to my July “Writing Every Day” Project, I was afraid that the same thing would happen. Again. And I was RIGHT!
I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in order to track my progress and here is what I came away with at the end of the month:
Days of Writing: 13 out of 31
Average Per Day: 907 words
Total Word Count: 11,796
To be honest, I am actually kind of proud of the work that I did.
Okay, so 13 days isn’t exactly great. But that’s almost 2 weeks of writing! And beyond that, averaging almost 1000 words per day when I was only writing for an hour every day is mighty impressive in my opinion. Although I was just shy of 12,000 words, I am still proud.
After 13 days of writing… Well, things got a bit hectic. I had to spend long days at work to prepare for a week-long vacation and just didn’t have the mental energy to do any personal writing. Then I was on vacation, and then I had to catch up on work. A lot of excuses, I know, but for a minute I truly thought I would be able to do all of this *and* continue with my daily writing. I honestly did!
After that didn’t work, though, my plan was to write for two hours every day to make up for the time I didn’t have before. But then things kept being busy and, eventually, I gave it up.
To be honest, giving up on “writing every day” was REALLY difficult. I was starting to do what I always do – putting a ton of pressure on myself to do THE BEST JOB EVER and stressing myself out.
I joke about how nobody puts as much pressure on me as I myself do, but it’s honestly not really a joke. And, after a particularly stressful couple of days, I had a long talk with Adam and he encouraged me to chill the F out.
So I decided to quit early on my July “Writing Every Day” Project and, to be honest, I feel pretty darn good about it. The truth is that taking care of my mental health is at the top of my list this year. I need to learn to treat myself better, and being my own worst boss is simply NOT an option. I’ve been there and done that, and I still have trouble relaxing about my self-imposed work schedule.
But for now, for today, I am proud of the work I did writing every day for 13 days. Yes, it wasn’t 31 days. Yes, I gave up early. Yes, maybe this makes me the worst writer on the planet (or not)…
The point is, I still DID IT. I wrote consistently and I even had a pretty awesome average daily word count.
I’m proud of myself for that. And I am proud of myself for admitting that sometimes quitting early is the right thing to do. The lifelong overachiever in me is still having some serious trouble with that, but the girl trying to grow and be better is pretty happy with the results.
Plus, now that I know that I *can* do it, I’m planning to continue writing more. Sure, I won’t be doing it daily but I *will* be doing it regularly. And that’s what really matters in the end… With the caveat that I’m continuing to put less pressure on myself.