Motivational Monday– Slow Progress

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A lot of writers spend November manically trying to write 50,000 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). It’s really not so unattainable for the average full-time writer. It averages out to 1667 words a day, which I can do in about an hour. As long as I know what I’m writing… And the hardest part is always the consistency–doing it every day. If you miss a day, then you’re playing catch up and trying to add to it. Miss more than one and it’s even harder etc.

November is a hard month for me. The first time I tried NaNo was in 2014. I had two published stories (well, one was on pre-order). I had completed several other stories before but had never tried to do an entire novel in one month. I got sooo close! If memory serves, I got to 45,000 words and had one day left. I could have made it. However, I was moving literally the next day and my kids–only 4 and 1 at the time–needed a return to normalcy. My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder the fall wreaks havoc on his routine. He shifts from waking up at 6 am to waking up at 5 am. He just turned 8 and by now, I have accepted this. In 2014, I was far less prepared to accept the reality of more 5 am (or earlier) wakeups.

I’m mentioning my history with NaNo because the other day I saw a Facebook status which upset me. It was a memory of one of my status from 2014. I was working on a story in which Darcy was to inherit Longbourn and Lady Catherine’s rector. Essentially, he was Mr. Collins. How would Elizabeth react? About 20,000 words into it, I realized this should just be an original story. I had already started writing the story before November began, so I realized that within a few days of the month. I spent the remainder of the month working on that story and changed all the names and tried to make it not like Pride and Prejudice. Then November ended and I froze. The almost completed manuscript is still on my hard drive.

I didn’t stop there though. I did turn my attention to other things but for the last four years, I have dusted off that manuscript every few months. I’ve sent it to beta readers and asked if it should really be an original. I’ve even thought that I could do both–make an original and keep the premise of Darcy in Collins’ place and write two different stories. In 2016, I came up with a series theme focusing on one real-life event from the Regency era per book. I had a few other non-JAFF stories that would work perfectly in the series. However, I had the most words on this story and it would have been the last one in the series. So I started on what was supposed to be Book One. Last year, I realized that book is really a prequel and they don’t do well until the rest of the series is out. I abandoned that story. Earlier this year, I realized that I should just round out the books and make it the full Regency. I started on the new Book One of the series and gave everything new titles. The Baronet’s Heart is now Tempting Scandal. I began posting but then got caught up with other things.

Can you see why I’m disappointed in myself? So much start and stop. So little progress. But is it really? I have learned a lot about myself, writing, my goals and so much more during each of these stops.

Oh, there’s more that I could be disappointed about. Things never go according to plan. I’m working on 2019 goals right now and know I won’t reach half of them. Sigh. However, this pic has reminded me that forward is forward and looking back at my supposed “failings” doesn’t help a thing!

When is a time you had to focus on just moving forward and not worrying about the timing? Or is there something in your life right now that this could apply to? Oh, and in case you were curious, my goal this November is to write at least 500 words every day! I did miss one, but instead of despairing I just said, “The whole point is to learn to do better and be more consistent. I will make mistakes at the beginning, but hopefully, by the end of the month I will be doing better.” That’s MAJOR progress for me, a perfectionist in recovery!

Positivity Monday- You’re Killing It!

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I’m privileged to be interviewed on DarcyandLizzy.com this week. Strangely, too many are under the assumption that I’m Super Woman. Not hardly! But it’s been amazing to consider how I started as a reader and am now releasing my fourteenth original work and celebrate my three year published author anniversary next week. I don’t feel like Super Woman. I don’t feel like I’ve got life together. However, I am proud of where I came from. Three years ago when I published my first book, I never would have thought I’d have gone through it so many more times. I still remember posting my first story on a forum, and I couldn’t believe I plucked the courage to do that!

I had zero confidence. To me, I was a failure. At everything. I had a college degree–that took an extra year to complete because I dropped out a few times–with an unimpressive GPA and a lot of debt. I gave up on my master’s degree and had no idea what to do with my life. We had declared bankruptcy, foreclosed on our house, and just had our second (and unexpected) child. What idiot doesn’t know how to prevent pregnancy? It didn’t matter that I had been infertile for years. People just saw someone who couldn’t afford another child mooching off the system with WIC. I was living in my father in law’s basement. In fact, my bed was in the furnace room! I typed most of my stories sitting on my bed, crouched over the laptop, unable to move without waking a child in either direction. I was convinced I was the worst mother and wife on the planet.

I’ve come a long way. A very, very, very long way. I don’t mean the fact that now we live in a lovely home and can pay our bills. I mean that I have confidence in me. Throw what you will at me, and I think I can overcome it. I don’t think I’m Super Woman or even the average woman. However, I no longer think I’m ruining everything I touch. Did it come with my first book? No. Did

Did it come with my first book? No. Did it come with the first story I posted? No. I still have insecurities. I still fear rejection and failure. It came, little by little and piece by piece. Every day is a new fight to enjoy the day and focus on the good. And today, I indulge myself just a moment and remember where I came from and pat myself on my back. I’ve done well!

What are some things you’re proud of?

Positivity Monday- Progress

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I’m supposed to be starting my healthy living program again today. My husband and I did really well with it last year up until October when we moved to my father-in-law’s and ran out of our easy to grab bars and well…excuses, excuses. We kept saying we were going to start again but then would wimp out for convenience reasons. Well, we are finally moved, unpacked, and the pantry is OVERFLOWING with our meal replacements. It’s time to start again and not look back this time! We were fortunate in the past with losing very quickly but it’s always worth remembering that slow progress is still progress. And this is helpful *just in case* I have any minor setbacks. Getting off routine for a few days is SOOOOO much better than 6 months because I demand perfection of myself. Slow progress wins!

What are some things you’ve had to slowly build at? Being an author is another example for me!