A couple of years back, I created a 35 Before 35 list.
A list of 35 accomplishments I wanted to have underneath my belt before I turned 35. As I’m sitting here, less than a year before I turn 35, I can already tell you some of these things are just not going to happen. Some of them have fallen under time constraints, some of them have fallen under budgetary constraints.
Some of them are time and budgetary constraints.
So I’m looking at my list, and trying to figure out how to carry off as many of them as I can. One of the ones on my list was to complete a NaNoWriMo. Now initially I was being super strict in my head, because I always put myself under the tightest of restrictions.
So in my head, successfully accomplishing NaNoWriMo means that I have to have a novel by the end of November.
But we’re coming up on November very quickly, and I have a photography class I’ll be participating in, a lettering challenge I’ll be participating in, and I’ll have the pleasure… the honor even, of building a website for my husband’s forge.
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room for writing.
In addition to that, I also have a Portfolio class next month in Full Sail University. Full Sail is an accelerated degree program, and I’ll have my bachelor’s degree in 29 months. This means that everything is at a frenetic pace, because it’s accelerated, so there’s a major focal point each month. A deep dive into a topic, if you will… and my time varies from topic to topic.
Some subjects are simply lectures/reading/discussion posts. Some subjects, like animation or 3D modeling, require a good deal of hands-on work as well. In those months, it’s not unusual for me to spend a good 12 hours a week on the assignment portion… and I still have lectures to attend, and discussions to post/reply on.
But then there’s Portfolio months.
All Portfolio months are an extremely hands-on topic (next month we’re learning how to use Unreal Engine, which is the game engine behind games like Borderlands 3) and a Career class. The Career classes are usually something like networking, or resume fundamentals… but it’s the one month that we have two classes, and November is one of these months.
There’s Thanksgiving of course, but that’s not really a shock…kinda happens every year, and every NaNoWriMer who’s in the States will have to contend with that. I also have school with my kids, but again, that’s normal.
So I’ve been sitting here for the last few months, trying to figure how to squeeze 50K words out, in addition to this ever growing list of things that has to be accomplished next month.
And I’ve realized I just can’t.
To make things more complicated, my heart’s just not even in it. I don’t know if it’s because of all the extra stuff in my brain, or I’m just not feeling inspired, but none of my novel ideas are exciting to me.
I have a list of about half a dozen novel ideas, none of which sound intriguing at the moment. So, they’ll get approached in the future, for sure, but next month ain’t happening. After realizing I didn’t put any specific constraints on my 35 accomplishments list, I thought “why am I doing this to myself?”
Now my NaNoWriMo plan is to go Rebel Camp, and I’ll use November to put blog posts on the different blogs I own.
I have this blog, of course… I also have a personal blog about my faith journey, and I have a blog launching in December. It’s going to focus on our efforts (me and my husband) to get our house ready to sell, and purge our possessions, purchase an RV (or remodel a school-bus into a Skoolie), and rebuild/build our next home.
The exciting thing is that it’ll be the combined efforts of my husband & I.
We’re planning on creating a YouTube for it, and I’m so pumped, because anyone who knows Phillip & I, knows that we are complete and total dorks, and we riff off of each other… I’ve been dying to do something with him like a YouTube or a podcast, and it’s FINALLY going to happen!
We’re going to be talking about purging our house to prepare for a move, creating capsule wardrobes so we can fit our possessions into an RV, homeschooling on the road, finding a new home, and all of that good stuff.
A lot of homesteading, lifestyle adventures.
So this will be my focus for NaNoWriMo. Some things will be exactly like any other NaNoWriMo… I’ll be following a schedule to make sure I’m writing each day.
My aim is to complete a blog post or other major piece of content. By major piece of content, I mean it needs to be an opt-in offer, an about page, a landing page, or a blog post. And I want to do one each day.
The big plan with this, is to have all 3 blog spaces prepped and ready to launch into 2020 with full force.
I’ll do a mid-month update on here, and an end of the month wrap-up, but otherwise, you can follow along with my daily accomplishments over on Instagram.
I thought I’d feel unworthy if I didn’t do a legit novel-writing month, but the reality is… while it’s fun to make those lists of what you want to accomplish, the lists are always made from what’s in your heart right then and there.
And when it comes down to choosing what I do next, what I’m excited about now will always trump what I was excited about 2 years ago, and I think that’s okay.