Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Winning NaNoWriMo 2023

When I posted my weekly goals yesterday, I didn't realize I'd be "winning" NaNoWriMo later that night!  I had 2,324 words to go to reach 50,000, and I thought it might be a little too much for one day.

But I was on fire at my write-in last night, and clocked 2,326 words - reaching 50,002 total words for November - by the end of the write-in.

I'm quite pleased, and I'm hoping this year's writing progress will translate into a lasting habit.  Last year I maintained the daily writing habit until the holidays, and then never got back to work after the holidays ended.  This year I'm hoping I can keep it going longer, and part of my plan is to start scheduling writing time earlier in the day, possibly first thing (after coffee, of course).  Putting it first will set a precedent in my life, send myself a proverbial message, and also make it less likely that my sometimes shifting, hectic days would result in writing time getting cut.

Only three days left of NaNoWriMo 2023, three write-ins remaining, and then we're into December!  It's been a crazy month, and as surprising as it was when I realized November was almost over, I think I'm ready for it to be done.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 27

I've been meaning to blog more but unsurprisingly, NaNoWriMo 2023 has been taking all my time.  As much as I love NaNo, I'll be glad when the month is over and I'm able to write without going to write-ins five days a week (yes, five! A Monday write-in was added).  Even if I'm still spending time writing, it'll be when my schedule permits, and without the time spent on social distractions and commuting to the write-ins.

I'm pleased with my progress, though.  I have managed to stay above par every single day all month, which is huge.  I've never been able to do that before, not once in my 17 prior years of doing NaNoWriMo!

I knew last week would be a hot mess, what with the holiday week and all of the write-ins planned, including the big museum write-in on Friday.  I only really had two goals for last week, staying at or ahead of par (which I accomplished) and working on organization (which I didn't).  To be fair, though, I did say "whenever I have a chance," and I didn't have many chances.  I'm hoping to make up for that this week.

There's another thing that may have changed things.  I have been complaining to my doctor for probably a couple of years about feeling sluggish and unenergetic.  Just this fall, the last time I was in, I was telling the doctor that I was also getting cold easily.  I have Hashimoto's (hypothyroid) and I was worried that my thyroid was off, but every time they tested it, it was perfectly in range.

Then a friend posted on Facebook about a week or a little more ago about her daughter's thyroid struggles, and another friend mentioned that she'd found natural thyroid worked better for her than synthetic (which is what I'm on).  So I started doing research, and in doing so, found out that taking levothyroxine first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before coffee or breakfast, is not necessarily the best time to take it.  I found this study indicating that bedtime (at least 3 hours after dinner) may be a better time to take it, due to better digestion and less interference from food (30 minutes is apparently not long enough to wait).

So I switched my levothyroxine to bedtime, and I could feel the difference the very next day.  I woke up easily, without grogginess or an army of alarms to drag me out of sleep, and that was amazing enough.  I also felt like I'd slept better, and was more refreshed.  The improvement in sleep and waking lasted all through the holiday weekend.

I feel like I have more consistent energy during the day, too, even though I'm getting tired earlier.  I think before my espresso latte in the morning was delaying absorption of the levothyroxine until late in the day, and as a result I wasn't feeling energized until evening, which made it hard to go to sleep... and then I was severely lacking in energy in the morning, and unable to get out of bed as a result.

Time will tell as to whether this really improves my energy and motivation throughout the day, but so far I feel great.  We'll see how this week goes.

My goals for the week are ambitious, as I'm assuming I will have more energy and motivation, but they also reflect that NaNoWriMo isn't actually over until after Thursday.  With four more write-ins to go to, a TGIO party on Saturday, and a doll event on Sunday at the museum, things won't really be "normal" again until next week.

  1. Reach my NaNoWriMo goal and keep up the habit of writing daily
  2. Catch up on organizing
  3. Start getting some doll things ready to sell

I've also made a few decisions going forward.  Following NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try to start working on my novel and other projects earlier in the day, rather than writing late at night like I used to.  I'm hoping doing it earlier will help to ensure it gets done, and prevent me losing the habit like what happened last year.  Also, I'd like to shift my overall schedule a little earlier, with the help of the bedtime levothyroxine, and make better use of my daytime hours.  I have multiple ventures I'd like to start spending more time on, including finishing and self-publishing this book and the corresponding series, as well as my doll repair business.

Hopefully I'll have a good report next week!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 26

Last week was one of those weeks where everything was crazy and nothing went according to the plan, so I didn't get done everything I wanted to.  Unfortunately, this week is Thanksgiving week, and I have a lot going on again, so I don't expect a lot of time to make up for last week.

You might remember from my post last week that we had a mainline clog that complicated everything.  On Thursday, we also ended up having to take Zac's car to the mechanic, and that messed up my day pretty majorly.  So while I didn't have many goals for last week, I really only managed to stay on top of my NaNoWriMo goal.  I didn't get anything done organizing or listing large items to sell.

This week I don't expect a ton of time to get caught up on things.  Today is my only real day to work on anything, and it's already half over.  Tomorrow I have an appointment for the horses, my dad has an appointment on Wednesday that I want to go to, Thursday is Thanksgiving, and Friday is our big all-day write-in at the museum.  The weekend will be busy too, between the usual write-ins

So I'm keeping my expectations pretty low for this week.  Next week, the last partial week of NaNoWriMo and the first partial week of December, I'll make an effort to start catching up on everything that has backslid in the last couple weeks.

This week, I'm hoping to:

  1. Stay at or ahead of par on my NaNoWriMo project
  2. Work on organization whenever I have a chance

See?  It's not much.  But I don't think making myself a long list would serve any purpose other than to make me feel like crap, since I don't realistically have the time to do a lot this week.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope you're gearing up for a good week!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 25

Wow, what a crazy week we've been having so far.  I feel like I'm behind on everything, even Facebook, which had over a hundred notifications when I woke up.

Basically, our downstairs toilet flooded Saturday night.  We mopped up the mess with towels and I tried plunging the toilet, but when we ran the washing machine the toilet flooded again.

And that's how we figured out we had a mainline clog.

Unfortunately, the house was nowhere near accessible for a plumber.  Everything was, quite frankly, a mess.  Fortunately for us, however, the upstairs toilet was able to flush if we kept our other water usage at a minimum.  So we spent a couple days eating out, barely using any water, and cleaning up said mess before I finally called the plumber on Monday.  He came out yesterday and cleared the mainline clog (which took over an hour as it had a ton of tree roots in it), so we can run the washing machine and use water normally again, but it turns out that toilet might be toast and need to be replaced.

The issue is mostly resolved now, but it derailed my plans for the weekend (catching up on organization) and this week.  I did get a few organization projects done hurriedly in the rush of getting things ready for the plumber, but I still have a lot to do.  This weekend will be a whole lot busier than last weekend, so I won't have much catch-up time then.

So my plans for the week are somewhat truncated.  Last week I didn't get anything done on client dolls and didn't get anything listed, but I did manage to stay ahead of par for NaNoWriMo.  This week I'm fully aware I won't get anything done on client dolls, but I'm hopeful that I can get some work done on organizing.  I'd even bought new shelves on Saturday, before we realized the toilet was overflowing, to use in the next stage of my plan!  I probably won't have time to put them up this weekend though, based on how full our calendar is.

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish with the rest of this week:

  1. Keep working on my novel every day and stay ahead of par
  2. Finish the organizing projects I started to get ready for the plumber
  3. Get a few large items listed locally
And that's it.  I'll put client dolls on the docket for next week, although I may have to scramble to get it done around any holiday plans.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 24

My life has been a whirlwind since NaNoWriMo started, which is why I'm writing this post two days late, on Wednesday instead of Monday.

We have write-ins four days a week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  It eliminates three-quarters of my weekends and two of my four remaining evenings a week (Friday evenings being already spoken for).

Anyway, even though I am not doing the super specific accountability and progress style of posting anymore, I'm still finding that I like looking at Toggl to see the breakdown of my work time for the week.  And last week is busy on the reports, even without having accomplished some of my goals.

Basically, all the NaNoWriMo stuff got done (hard not to, when much of it is dependent on fixed write-ins), but not much else.  So this week will be a continuation of some of those goals.

  1. Stay on or above par for NaNoWriMo
  2. Get some organization done
  3. Work on client dolls
  4. List items for sale locally

You'll notice the museum copy is no longer on the list.  I did get that done, but it was yesterday, not last week.  Still, done is done, right?

Even though I know I have a lot to do, I'm still feeling optimistic for (the rest of) the week!  Lots of opportunity to get things done, plus I'm feeling pretty good about staying above par with my work on my novel for an entire week.  I hope I'm able to keep that up!

Friday, November 03, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023

Even though I was blogging on a semi-weekly basis about my preparations for NaNoWriMo, it was still a bit of a shock when it was finally here.

If you didn't already know it, I'm an ML, a Municipal Liaison, for the Denver region of National Novel Writing Month.  ML just means I'm a regional coordinator, so with the help of a couple other MLs (Denver is a big region!) we coordinate local events, send out emails, and just basically do our best to help everyone stay motivated.  We have a really active region, and it's probably at least in part due to how many local events we have every year.

Our kickoff party Tuesday night - where we all start writing at midnight on November 1st - was a success, though a little small still post-pandemic.  We had 33 people at the highest count I got, up a few from 28ish last year.  (Before the pandemic we used to get 50-60 at weeknight kickoff parties, and 100+ on the weekends, so we still have a ways to go to return to pre-pandemic levels of participation.)

Right now I'm using a read-and-revise of what I have of my novel so far to familiarize myself with what I wrote last year, and then I'll skim what I wrote in previous years, since I'm planning to rewrite all of that pretty much entirely for this draft.  I'm hoping to finish the novel this year, and revise and self-publish next year.  You can track my progress on my NaNoWriMo profile, and also on my novel's blog, RubyRansome.com.

I feel like I'm on a good track so far, for just being a couple days into the month.  I've been working steadily on the read-through and revisions over the last couple days, and hope to finish by the end of the weekend so that I can get to work on new writing.

Right now, I have four write-ins scheduled per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) with only the Wednesday ones not being "my" write-ins, so it's setting up to be a busy month!  Last year I tried to get the badge for updating every day, but lost that when I failed to write and update my word count on Thanksgiving.  This year I'm hoping to get that badge, and I'm also going to try to get the badge for making par (1,667 words) every day.

Into the breach once more, my friends!  Wish me luck!


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