No, me neither. Life happens. Our best laid plans go awry. Sometimes it’s our day job, sometimes it’s our kids, and sometimes it’s us. The key is to balance taking the time you need to deal with the issues at hand, and still staying on the path to your writing goals.
Last week I found out that I tested positive on a blood test for celiac disease. That was Thursday morning, and, to be honest, it threw me for a loop for a few days. I like to eat. I love pasta and pizza and this delicious sushi roll at our favorite sushi place that uses fried shrimp. Other than migraine medicine, I take no other pain relievers, even after a surgery, other than Advil Liqui-gels, and guess what? Advil Liqui-gels (plus Advil Migraine and Advil PM) that are made in the US have gluten in them. Beer, too… Now that’s just sad.
I took Thursday off from writing, because I was doing my OCD thing and researching celiac disease to death, plus my brain wasn’t exactly on the fiction fast track. Saturday I only wrote half of my 2000 words a day goal. Sunday I felt much better because I felt like I had a handle on the whole thing, and wrote 2777 words. Last night I wrote almost 2300. But tomorrow is the biopsy, and I’ll be sedated and all that, so I probably won’t write (or what I write will be gibberish!).
All that is to say this – life happens. Good and bad. Babies are born. People get sick or hurt. The opportunity for a road trip comes up. You get unexpected visitors. A deadline gets moved back. Your company gets a new account and suddenly you’re working 80 hours a week. Since I’m not Buddhist, I won’t say you need to maintain your “zen” but I will say that you need to have realistic expectations. And realistically, well, shit happens. (Pardon my magic word.)
It’s actually amazing that, in my 4th NaNo event, this is the first time that something like this has come up. Surely that’s beating the odds! But I’m OK with it. I’ll get my 50,000 words in August, even if I don’t get my goal of 60,000, so I’ll win. And I’ve begun to realize that this YA novel isn’t going to be finished in 60k words anyway, at least not the way I’m write it now. I’m not changing my 2000 word a day goal, but I’m realizing that there may be a few more days off or deficit days than I’d planned for. And I’m OK with that, too.
We tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Florida sailing… but I’m pretty mellow. But I can still start freaking out over my self-imposed goals. So once again, I’m giving myself permission to do my best, even if it’s not what I’d hoped, and to write a really bad first draft. It’s all OK – really.
Happy writing, friends!