Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's December. Now what?

November is of the past, as is NaNoWriMo. Gone is my excuse to ignore my blog because I need the extra time to bolster my word count.

I did it. I wrote 50,000 words in fewer than 30 days. My final word count was around 54,000. Most of those words are actually correctly spelled and strung together in such a way that I have a good start on a story. Notice that I don't claim to have written a complete novel; in fact, at 54,000 words I am only about halfway through my tale.

Now it's December, and I have to decide if I want to continue adding to that 54,000 words. A part of me (and more than a few books written about writing) says that I should keep on truckin'; after all, I just spent thirty days working on this thing. But there's another part of me that is itching to move on to smaller, greener pastures. In the process of working on a "novel," my brain pinged on some pretty good short story ideas (and more than a few blog topics.) And - let's face it - I have a much better shot at finishing a short story than I do at finishing this novel right now. I'm not saying that I'm abandoning it; in fact, I'm continually jotting down ideas to make what I have already written stronger.

This often happens to me when I am working on a big assignment for my job, or even when I am tackling a complex knitting or crocheting project. No matter how much I enjoy what I am doing, no matter how much I desire to hold the completed item in my hands, I reach a point where I need to step back, breathe, and work on something relatively easy for a while. Something I can finish in a short amount of time. Something that reminds me why I started the larger project in the first place.

Everyone gets bogged down on occasion. I think this is an unintended consequence of the goal-driven society we have created. We have become so focused on "getting there" that we have forgotten that most of the good stuff happens on the way to the destination. Anyone who has little kids or remembers being a little kid knows that long car trips are easier to bear if you plan adequate rest stops. You can only count so many blue cars before you desperately need to look at something different, even if that something is a notice tacked to a Plexiglas-encased bulletin board at a roadside "Welcome Center."

December is my Welcome Center bulletin board. After writing some blog entries and short stories to post on it, I'll climb back into the car and count some more blue cars. Or maybe I'll count red ones instead. Either way, I plan on having as much fun during the drive as I hope to have at the destination.

1 comment:

  1. Some motherly advice: Stop and read the Welcome Center boards this month, enjoy Christmas, but don't forget to get back into that car again. Welcome Center boards do get boring after awhile. You can and will reach that destination. The rewards when you get there will be great. I know they will. I 'feel' it.