Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So Close, But Still So Far..............

I was really beginning to scare myself, wondering how I would ever finish NaNoWriMo. I actually spent five days where I didn't write at all. (Family emergency, but everything going well, now) Falling so far behind, I was sure I would have to give up. Now, that isn't something that sits well with me. My pride gets in the way. I can handle rejection and still persevere, but when I lose, because of my own doing, because I threw in the towel. No, No, that's not happening.
I am still a 1000 words or so behind, and may fall behind again on Thanksgiving Day. However, I am determined to finish; and finish, I will.
This wonderful post from Rochelle Melander, the Write Now! Coach, and my self- determination will take me across the finish line. Thank you, Rochelle!

Pay Yourself First
by Rochelle Melander

You have to pay yourself first. You can’t let other things get in your way.
—James O’Shaughnessy


Nine days and less than 15,000 words away from finishing my first National Novel Writing Month Challenge, I woke startled. In the passion of the race, I had totally forgotten about two editing projects that I needed to finish by the end of the month. And, oh yeah, there was Thanksgiving thrown in there, too. How would I write 15,000 words and edit nearly 40,000 more words in a single week? I sighed, shrugged off the covers, and slunk downstairs for coffee.

Then I remembered the famous financial wisdom that I’d been repeating to writing and life coaching clients for years: “Pay yourself first.” Financial gurus encourage us to sock away a bit of money in savings and retirement accounts before paying the bills. The only way I would succeed at National Novel Writing Month was to follow this wise advice: pay myself first. I would need to give my first or best moments of each day to writing.

The poet William Stafford was known to be an early morning writer. He would write each day between 4 and 7 AM, when the world was quiet. Stafford's daughter Barbara once spoke about getting up early, too, to spend time with her father. The poet did not discourage her but got up earlier and earlier to preserve his writing time. Stafford said this about his morning practice in his essay, A Way of Writing:

When I write, I like to have an interval before me when I am not likely to be interrupted. For me, this means usually the early morning, before others are awake. I get pen and paper, take a glance out of the window (often it is dark out there), and wait. It is like fishing. But I do not wait very long, for there is always a nibble--and this is where receptivity comes in. To get started I will accept anything that occurs to me.

I have also found that the first hours of the day lend themselves best to writing. Before I check email or phone messages, before my children tug at my sleeve for food and lunch money, before the demands of the day come calling, I am at my desk writing. Once I have my time in, I can go about the day without angst.

Counting today, you have seven days left on this writing adventure. But even if you are not doing the NaNoWriMo challenge, you are a writer. You have dreams, goals, and projects waiting to be completed. All I can say to you is this: keep at it. Do not let it go. Hold onto your dream, and pay yourself first. You do not have to write for many hours each day. Just give your first or your best minutes of the day to your creative work.


Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander supports people in writing to transform their lives and businesses. If you’re ready to establish credibility, make more money, and market your work by writing a book, blog, or Web site, get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at http://www.writenowcoach.com

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