Needless to say, with an ending word count like that, I didn’t finish my plans for NaNoWriMo. There were just too many surprises—and heartbreaks—in November for me to sit and write.

But I still got a little more than one fifth of the way to a full NaNo and almost half of my personal goal, got to experiment with my letter board for sharing word count updates (which I loved!), and helped me flesh out my ideas for Spectrum Legacy. And while dealing with everything life handed us, I got a few very long nights and two very long car rides gave me a few things to consider.

Balancing writing with literally anything else is hard. I don’t feel like I can trim anything out of my life, though; I need to be present for my husband and daughter, involved in her education, and have enough free time to do things with my family… or for myself. I’ve started playing video games again for the first time in a couple years and it’s amazing what they do for the well of inspiration.

I also don’t feel like I could ever sacrifice the community I’ve found through creating things for my dolls. They’re an enormous support and encouragement, and making book characters into dolls is a joy that helps inspire me even though it requires creativity, too.

Unfortunately, that means writing often gets pushed off to dead last. How can I be a writer who doesn’t prioritize writing? I can’t. So, the only thing I can do to fix it is figure that if time to write is what I lack… I’ll just have to make some changes to my schedule and the way I do things to ensure I have time for writing.

This month, I’m rearranging my calendar to make use of more intense block scheduling. I’m doing my doll projects and videos first. All of them. 12 weeks worth—3 months of content, crammed into the first third of December. And then, after that’s done, I write.

I’ll need to make some changes to how I do it, when I do it, and I’ll need to figure out good ways to increase how much I can write in a day, as well as figuring out a good way to rapidly recharge so I’ll be able to hit the ground running the next day.

I don’t know how it’s going to work, but I’ll do my best, and I’ll record the changes I make and what progress that gets me here, as usual.

For now, wish me luck.

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