Friday, December 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up & More

Well, folks, it's December which means that National Novel Writing Month is over. My goal was to write my first novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November. I didn't reach it, but I'm still very proud of the work I did. I wrote over 26,500 words and have a really solid start on a story with characters that I am completely in love with.

Being "forced" to write so much really brought into focus just how lazy I've been about exercising my creative writing skills. So I intend to make my novel and short-story writing a regular part of my life. After 30 days of habit-forming creativity, it's been easy to keep going back to my story and working on it.

Having my little brother staying with us temporarily (he & his future roomies should be getting their new apartment soon) didn't get in the way of things like I thought in might, and, in fact, it was rather nice having him around. It's been stressful dealing with his cats on top of my cats and the stray cats I feed, but nothing too horrible happened. We were able to break up any fights within seconds of them starting and no one was really hurt too bad, although Pinky got a rakish scratch across his nose. The benefit of suddenly introducing 2 strange cats to my kitties was that George, the newly-adopted kitteh, is now solidly "one of us" in my cats' minds. They quickly got over any problems they had with her, because the imposing black tomcat my brother owns was much more threatening to them!

In other news, Matt has found work in another retail position. He was hired as seasonal help and within a matter of weeks had become a permanent staff member by being promoted to head of the gourmet food section. He also got a raise! So that's been good for him, and it's nice to both of us that my unemployment $ (which will be drying up here soon) isn't the only income we have. Especially since the evil Citibank overlords whom I owe much money to in the form of student loans have decided that I am not allowed any more grace time in paying them back. The $400 payment/month is really hard to make - it's almost as much as my rent! But now that Matt's paychecks have started rolling in, we're finding it easier and easier to make ends meet... not that I'm up-to-date on my gas and energy bills or anything, but one step at a time...

I started going back to the local community center gym today. I started going earlier this year, but had to quit when I couldn't afford the $20/month membership fee for a while. Since Matt's working now, I can afford it again, and I'm happy to be active again! I have been far more of a couch potato than I wanted to be the past few months.

I'm still working faithfully on my 365 Self-Portrait Project, which has been fun but stressful, especially on days when I'm in a bad mood and don't feel at ALL creative. But one of the things I've learned from my NaNoWriMo experience, and from this project as well, is that I don't have to *feel* creative to *be* creative. I've also realized that if I expect to find ways to be creative and if I'm open to the possibility of each moment, the entire process of creating becomes more spontaneous and joyful.

Related posts:
National Novel Writing Month
Guess Who's Getting Published?
365 Self-Portrait Project
Wordless Wednesday: 39 Self-Portraits

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