When I first moved out of my parent’s house, I vowed to fulfill my livelong dream: ice cream for breakfast and bedtime whenever I wanted. I learned, as we all do, that there is a price attached to pursuing even the best things in life.
In the case of NaNoWriMo this year, the price came at a physical cost: reduced sleep, weight gain, poor nutrition. Exhaustion. I’ve paid this price many times before, but mostly while working for other people. I shouldn’t have done it to myself.
What happened? This year I added NaNoWriMo to my schedule but didn’t subtract anything else. There wasn’t as much space within my hours as I thought there was and NaNo crowded out the important things as well as the less important.
I discovered that for me, at this time, writing a short story a week plus a novel, plus organizing write-ins and other events can’t be done with the quality I want to pursue. Takeaway: NaNoWriMo is its own thing and deserves a space carved out just for it. I’m glad I did it, but I need to do better in the future. More important, I need to choose things to say ‘No’ to.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.
The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”
I am pursuing the Yes burning within me: my writing. Now I need to choose within the writing projects to see which of them is the burning Yes. At this point I believe it is the Great Challenge.
December will be a time for me to regroup and catch up. I have stories that need to be finished, others that need to be edited, and still others that need to be submitted. That’s my focus for December. All done in a slower pace that includes sleep, exercise, family and healthy meals.
I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and finding your burning Yes.