Give Thanks For Your Journey

Every writer you know is currently in a different stage of their “writing journey.” Everyone is in a different place, struggling with different aspects of the writing process for many different reasons. This can make writing feel isolating – as if you are the only one going through what you’re going through.

I’m here to remind you today, briefly, that you are certainly not alone in this. And even though it may seem as if you aren’t making any progress at all, take some time today to give thanks for how far you have come … And/or how far you have yet to go.

Whether you are just starting out as a writer, have always dreamt of writing but haven’t started yet or you have already made great progress toward your writing goals, be thankful. There is a dream still alive inside of you, even if buried deep down. That alone, if you let it, will take you further than you haves ever been before. And I’m so, so happy for you. I truly am.

Happy Thanksgiving, to all my US readers. And to everyone else – be thankful anyway. You can never go wrong with thankfulness.

A Thank-You Note to All My Readers (Thank You, for Everything)

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If you follow this blog but don’t usually read posts from start to finish, you might want to make an exception today. This is for all my readers. Every single one of you.

When things don’t go the way we plan, it’s not quite as easy to be grateful for what we have as it is when we feel like we have everything we need. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just part of being human.

It’s also not as easy to convey that humanity through a static web page than it would be if we were speaking face-to-face.

Which means, in writing one post per day to satisfy some kind of writing or life-related want or need or hunger, I have to rely solely on my words. Which, as you can imagine, is a hard thing to do on days I don’t know what else to say.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m repeating myself over and over again, always saying the same things, sharing the same ideas, never offering anything new to those who come here searching for it. In some ways running a daily blog by yourself results in brutal consequences just like this. You burn out. You step back and look at everything you’ve posted already and you think, “How can I possibly keep this going even one more day?”

But I’ve done that, every consecutive day since June. Five straight months of daily posts. Soon to be six, if this weekend doesn’t strip me of my motivation to push through the not-wanting-to-do-it mindset.

I don’t do this just for the fun of it or to prove something to someone. I made a promise to myself. I told myself that if I really wanted to transform this blog into something that would help people, into something meaningful, I couldn’t go halfway. It had to be all or nothing, otherwise, I knew I wouldn’t be able to give a (surprisingly) rapidly growing audience what it deserved.

As a result, I know a lot of you don’t come by often, and believe me, I understand completely. As a writer, my philosophy is that you absolutely cannot please everyone. Not every piece of content will prove helpful to every person. I’m not offended. I don’t take it personally. Because as a reader, my philosophy is that you should spend your reading time in ways that will help you grow and thrive, learn and achieve.

But at some point in the past seven months – or maybe you’re one of the very few who were here before I started Novelty – you stumbled upon my words, and read some of them, and decided, “Hm. Maybe this is worth a follow. Maybe this will help me, or someone I know, grow and thrive and learn and achieve.”

That, my dearest Noveltiers, is why I do what I do.

I used to have a running joke on Writer’s Blog/Heartfelt/Tales of a College Novelist that I had 2.5 readers, and would address them as such. Sometimes I still toss it in just for my own amusement. But there isn’t much merit in letting that gag live on, because it’s just not true anymore.

There are a lot of you out there now, and potentially a good portion of you are reading this right now. And the majority of that growth has happened since Novelty happened. And some days, I still can’t wrap my head around how. Why. What. What am I doing that’s so meaningful to all these strangers?

But time and again, I find the answer.

Whenever one of you leaves a comment, thanking me, or telling me how a certain piece of advice helped you with your story.

Whenever one of you subscribes to my newsletter, which is just a bonus weekly bundle of shenanigans from me that you don’t need, but subjected yourself to anyway.

Whenever someone new says, “Hey, I heard about this blog, thought I’d check it out and I’m hooked!”

I don’t deserve that. Any of that. I’m just a person. Lately, quite a miserable person with no direction or confidence or much of a reason to keep working so freaking hard. But you gave that to me. Every single one of you, just by stopping by, even if only for a minute.

Today, I am thankful for you. All of you. For many different reasons. But mostly, I’m just thankful I have behind me a group of people who believe in the power of thoughts and words and creation. Who believe writing, as complex and unpredictable as it may be, is an art and a science worth manipulating, worth executing, worth refining.

I’m not sure Novelty Revisions would be what it is today without you. Some days, it’s really all I have to cling to. I put my whole heart and soul into this. I don’t expect you to return after your first visit. I don’t expect likes or comments or for you to stick around for two or three or 20 posts. But sometimes you do. And that, to me, is beautiful.

Thank you for all you do. You continue to push me to put all my effort into making life an unpredictable adventure, one that will go on, thanks to you, for a very, very long time.

Enough with the sappiness. Go write some words. It’s what you’re best at, after all.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Sean X. Liu / flickr.com.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

How to Get Writing Done Over Thanksgiving | NaNo Talk 2015

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For all our readers and fellow NaNo participants (or just writers in general) in the US, Thanksgiving is fast-approaching. Which is great food-, family- and shopping-wise, but not so convenient when you have a daily word count to meet and only have a week left to hit 50,000 words.

Here’s how to keep up, catch up or get ahead on your word count no matter how you plan on spending your Thanksgiving holiday this week and weekend.

Get it done first

There’s not much worse than going through your whole day thinking about how you still have writing to do. While this might be manageable if it’s the only way it fits into your routine, it’s the last thing you want hanging over your head when you have food to cook and people to impress (or not).

As much as you would probably love to sleep in, you might be better off waking up a little bit earlier and knocking out your words before you have to be anywhere or do any chores. Sometimes it’s better all around if you push through it, get out of the way and don’t have to think about it anymore.

Double up now

The tough part about holidays is there isn’t a set routine like there is on any other regular day of the year. You might try to promise yourself you’ll wake up early or you’ll get it done before you go to sleep, but there’s no guarantee something won’t come up or you’ll be too tired to follow through.

If you know you won’t be able to write over the holiday (maybe you’re traveling or, as expected, you just want to relax), or you don’t trust yourself to keep up, double up on your word count early this week. Start now. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s only three days. Break it up and see how far ahead you can get. Put your own mind at ease. You can sleep after Wednesday!

Use your down time

There’s usually a lot more down time throughout the day than you think there will be. If you eat dinner earlier in the day, most of the afternoon probably consists of naps and sitting around watching (or trying not to listen to) football anyway.

Use that down time to get some writing in. Get comfy on the couch with your laptop and just type away. Grab some headphones if you can only tolerate a certain kind of background noise while you write. Let all those carbs count for something and see what your brain can come up with in the aftermath.

 

You can still enjoy your holiday without having to spend the majority of it worrying about your word count. Don’t let it throw you off! You’re almost there! KEEP GOING!!

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.