Keeping Up with the Joneses

As the new year rolled around, I was staying on top of my game. I used every available moment of time to write something or plot something or research something else. I was keeping up with all of the other writers who were posting their stats on Facebook and bragging about how much they get done in a day… but all of that  left me exhausted. I craved down time and with a full time job, volunteer work, a boyfriend, and a pup, down time is important. So, I dropped everything and relaxed for a while. The stress wasn’t worth it, not to me. I haven’t written more than 100 words in the last month and a half… and I feel great.

In my down time, I started going to the gym and spending more time with Tom and Karma. Now, I have more energy and motivation to get back into a more even paced writing routine. Today will mark the first day of my plan to write at least 500 words a day. No more of that ‘3,000 words or die’ mentality for me. Life is not a sprint to the finish, so why should writing be like that? Besides, my best work comes when I take time to ponder what I’m writing instead of just vomiting words onto the page. My work matters enough to me to try to make it the best it can be the first time around instead of having to weed through 6 feet of crap 12 times over to find a gem. I learned my lesson from the only NaNo WriMo story that I tried to salvage – delirious speed writing only makes it harder on the back end.

So, long story short, it may take me a while to write an entire story, but I don’t care. It will be time well spent and I’ll still be able to enjoy my down time and other things without feeling like I have to rush through everything. I finally understand that this isn’t a competition. I don’t have to keep up with other writers since all of our situations are different. I only have to keep up with myself and my goals. That is all that matters.

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