Camp NaNo18: Days 14 & 15

Hello all! This weekend ended up being far busier than I had anticipated, though I largely stumbled due to my faltering time management. (The problem with reading a book while you’re trying to write one is that either one or the other gets done. Alas, I finished the book I was reading–Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, if you were wondering).

BUT! I am still on track for 100K–clocking in at 10:30 this evening with 50,634 total after writing 3,627 today and 3,474 on Saturday. I’ve been working on a new story the last few days–one of the novels I had originally slated for Camp before I got distracted by brainstorming for an entirely different set of novels–and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I’m calling it The Thirteenth; thus far, I have Grand Plans® to turn it into a trilogy or a quartet. I don’t even have a full plot for this first book yet. I’ve only just gotten to know a couple of the characters pretty well, but my mind works in terms of series. It can’t be helped.

On another, maybe related note, how do you manage your time effectively? I ask because this is my biggest struggle. I’m supremely aware of my own mortality–that clock keeps ticking–and my inability to maximize the short span of time I do have. I’ve never doubted whether or not I can do things; I’ve always feared my lack of time in which to do them. My interests are so varied, so intense, so purposeful, it’s hard to decide where to invest my time. While writing is a given, it is not always immune to being sidelined while I attend to a latest burst of passion for another hobby. Meanwhile, I am constantly being politely asked (and sometimes outright volunteered) to take on greater responsibility in the spheres in which I already operate, whether that be my writing club, Toastmasters, workplace, or family.

Those external obligations, combined with the daily mundanities of life (taking the dog to the vet, cleaning, going food shopping–or worse, clothes shopping–cooking, getting ready for work), leave little time for my true passions: writing, editing, studying, reading, playing violin/piano/guitar, building a business, running, adventuring… the list goes on. And those don’t count the things I want to do but don’t yet do; I’ll spare you the list. And with all of this going on, I’m still expected* to go to bed at a reasonable hour!

This problem is not my own. I think it plagues everyone, to some extent. So, how do you do it? How do you negotiate with the inexorable forward march of time? Do you say no to some of those hobbies, passions, or responsibilities? Do you negotiate with yourself? Do you make a list of priorities and stick to it? Do you shelve projects without intentions of returning to them? Do you simply curl up in a corner and lament your lack of time (as I do sometimes, which is itself a waste of time)?

NaNo is great for teaching dedication to a task and devotion to your own creativity, and I’m so grateful for all it’s done for me. But it’s meant, too, I think, to teach balance. This, however, is a lesson much harder learned and one I have not yet grasped. In the meantime, I’m little more than a circus performer spinning plates, hoping I’m not impaled by the shrapnel as they take turns shattering around me.

*Expectations are entirely my own.


2 thoughts on “Camp NaNo18: Days 14 & 15

  1. Wow, that is some impressive word count compared to me. I’m trying to produce a measly 1000 words a day and unless I do it pretty much first thing, I have a hard time getting there. When I’m really struggling, I find myself updating my word count every 30 minutes or so which is ridiculous but seems to help me keep moving forward. I am on track to finish on time though, and determined to do it. Good luck to you!

    1. Great tips; I’ll have to implement them into my own routine! Dedication is the key to success, and it sounds like you’ve got that down. Congratulations on being consistent, and best of luck to you, too!

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