Sorry this is late. I was on the road yesterday.
So Round 4 is drawing to a close. I can hardly count the number of people who’ve told me “I totally failed this round” or “I’m not sure if I want to do Round 4…I was so bad at keeping up with stuff in Round 3.”
My question to those of you in this boat: Did you remember to adjust your goals when your initial one proved not to suit? Did you take a single step toward whatever goal you set? I’m betting MOST of you did. And you know what? That single step is one step further than you’d be if you had done nothing. So it’s not a failure. It might not be what you wanted to get done, but it’s something and that counts as progress.
This is something I know quite a bit about. See, I am an uber planner–my agent refers to me as the Princess of Planning with much amusement. I have a great many demands on my time, so I tend to be really regimented about a lot of things, scheduling this, that, or the other thing because if I don’t schedule it, it’s not likely to get done. This tends to produce a To Do List of Everest proportions, and since I’m only human, it means there’s STILL an awful lot on that list that doesn’t get done when I want it. I have a really bad habit of focusing on those 42 things that WEREN’T done instead of the 17 that were. This is something I think a lot of us are really bad about.
Frankly, I think we all need to give ourselves a break (somebody remind me I said that the next time I’m freaking out).
I did NOT get what I wanted accomplished during this round. I finished and released my debut YA, Red. I wrote a bunch of blog posts and interviews for a blog tour. And…that’s about it. Which is still an accomplishment. But I’d been hoping to knock out another novella by now. Instead, it’s been 6 weeks since I’ve written anything at all. I think I’m past the panic of that. It is what it is, and it took longer to get the last book out of my head to clear the way for the next one. If I had stopped fighting that, I might have been able to get more done. But I have SUCH A HARD TIME allowing myself to…well, breathe. To rest. To recognize that sometimes not producing is still productive and part of refilling the creative well.
So I hope you will all take some time to do that for yourselves between now and the start of Round 4 on October 3rd. Because this will be the LAST ROUND of ROW80 in 2011. It will be the Round that takes us through the holiday season. The Round that is a haven for all the NaNo Rejects. The Round where YOU WILL GET STUFF DONE. It is also the Round I am still looking for Sponsors for, so do dash me an email at kaitnolanwriter (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested. There’s a link at the top of the page that details Sponsor Responsibilities.
Meanwhile, no matter how much you feel like you failed, stop looking at what you DIDN’T get done and actually write up your final check-in post to acknowledge what you DID DO. We are all about the positive here at ROW80. Never forget that.