In my first novel, 18 Things, the main character writes a life list of eighteen things to do the year she’s turning 18 at the suggestion of her therapist who is trying to help her overcome the grief of losing her best friend.

Writing a novel was at the top of my own bucket list, something I wrote after my cousin’s son was diagnosed with leukemia. I never meant for my novel to turn into a trilogy, never meant to start another career as an author. I simply didn’t want my life to end with a bunch of things unchecked on my to-do list.

I’ve enjoyed this journey I’ve been on since the summer of 2009, but it’s been a series of trade offs. Finding balance between writing and everything else going on in my life has been a challenge. And I’m sure you’re all nodding your head along to my words . . . if you’ve even had time to read this far!

My sequel, 18 Truths, is all finished and will release on January 28, 2014. So I decided to use November (National Novel Writing Month) to try and write my last installment in the trilogy, 18 Thoughts. This is the first time I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo, and I think I’m doing well so far with a total of 20, 727 words. But the writing is bittersweet. I honestly don’t know if I’ll pursue publishment again once the trilogy is complete.

There are simply too many other things on my to-do list that I want to cross off, and I’m finding there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish them all. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing. That would be like someone telling me to stop breathing. And I’m not saying I’ll never publish another novel . . . maybe I will in ten years or so after my youngest spawn has left the nest. Maybe by then I’ll have so many adventures to write about, I won’t ever be able to stop. We’ll see.

What about you? How do you balance the demands of your muse with the demands of every day life? Participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

We all have a book in us waiting to be written . . . it’s never too late to add it to your to-do list! And if you do, please visit the Insecure Writers Support Group to help you on your journey. We post the first Wednesday of every month!

Buccaneer Blogfest and IWSG

28 comments on “IWSG- NaNoWriMo

  1. Wow, over 20,000 words already? I’ve fallen behind with my goals but I’m determined to catch up this week! It can be tough to prioritise your writing, but I don’t see myself stopping any time soon – I try to get a minimum of 1000 words a day (usually more) even when I’m busy. Really inspiring post! 🙂

  2. I’m not doing NaNo and won’t even finish my colossal WIP in time to start anything new this month. I also have schoolwork to focus on, and am a bit behind on my portfolio for one of my classes. That comes before writing these days. My writing output has fallen drastically below my average in the last month or so to focus on schoolwork.

  3. Jamie, you are exactly where I was once. I never saw beyond the first book and once I finished the third, I doubted I would write again. It was just never a big goal of mine.
    Finish the third book, see it through its release, and then decide after that. Trust me, you might change your mind. And, you might not.
    Great word count for NaNo!

  4. Wow– I have to say, I think this is a very impressive show of insight and bravery on your part. Facing our dreams and mission in life face-on and realizing they can change allows new chapters and purpose in to our lives. Go you!

  5. Well… balance. Hmm what is that? Okay. So I have roughly 3,000 words for NANOWRIMO – super close to the 10,000 I should have. I simply write when the kids go to bed, lately that is midnight. Then the next morning I sleep through my alarm, swear, and rush to work.

    Hehe. Okay. I have no answers, other then we all do our best. For me writing is my sanity, so when my priorities are asleep for the night I can escape. I hope someday I balance things better.

    Good luck and WOW!!! Go you on word count!!

    • Yeah . . . I hear when my spawns are in bed too. And even though I LOVE writing, keeping up the marketing is a huge time suck that often leaves me with no down time. Plus, since I’m teaching middle school Language Arts this year, that means I’m grading 150 essays every weekend *sigh*

  6. That was an awesome post. And I admire you for writing (almost) 3 books and then deciding to leave what you’ve built and go and try something else. Wish I was brave enough to do that.
    Impressive word count too. I’m on just over half that. Good luck.

  7. Wow! What an impressive word count! I was definitely nodding my head while reading this, and I hear you about balance. I’m going to text you my unasked for advice. Hahaa. I know too many writers suffering from burn out after pushing out a trilogy quickly. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Well, I must say you’re leaving us in the dust with your word count. I hope you won’t totally abandon writing, because you’re a talented writer! But I totally understand having other things you want to accomplish.

    Yes, I’m doing NaNo again this year. November is a tough month, with parent conferences, and Thanksgiving travel, but we can do it, right! You amaze me with your fortitude!

    • About to head to a student led conference with my daughter! Oh, and I should be training for the Turkey Trot. Another thing I miss since I became a writer . . . working out!

  9. I think part of being a writer is experiencing life. Sure, we can make stuff up from our imaginations, but we can’t understand real encounters and emotions unless we’re living a life outside of writing. Do your thing and you can always write inbetween. Life doesn’t wait. 😀

  10. I am so outrageously jealous of your 20k words, especially since this was written 2 DAYS ago. I am not too far behind at 18k… two days later!

    I can relate to the sacrifices we make to write. I have two kids at home, one of which is a 4 month old, a full time job, and in school full time. I have so many things I want to achieve that I often find myself sacrificing time to write in favor of doing things, such as giving a second bath because diapers only work some of the time. However, all of these things we do in life will eventually aid us in the future when time dos allow us to pursue our passions. Given I may never write about exploding diapers, the mountains of laundry, and an approaching work deadline, but I will write about being so overwhelmed with responsibilities that a character loses sight of the future. Because I lived through it.

    P.S. I have not read 18 things yet, I promise it is on my To-Do list!!!

  11. You’re doing so well so far… huge congrats. Decided not to do NaNo this year… I just can’t fit it in this November as I have a book I HAVE to finish this month. I keep telling myself this, hoping it will happen:) Best of luck.

  12. Ah! Your book is releasing on my anniversary! You know, I was listening to myself while reading your words. I felt the exact same way about MOONLESS (releasing on Wednesday, yikes). My hubby was the one who suggested (*ahem* FORCED) me to write this book into a series. Series are funner anyway. I mean, don’t you prefer TV shows with long character arcs over one-and-done movies?

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