Daylight Savings tends to mark a difficult time of the year for me; life gets cold, dark, and sleepy REAL fast. This year, fueled largely by NaNoWriMo, I decided to take back November.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. In November, writers all over the world set outrageous word count goals, clear their social calendars, and set to work. My students and I committed to 30,000 words a piece (1k per day). People told us we were crazy.
We began meeting every Thursday to discuss how hard our lives had become, throw around literary concepts, and binge eat cupcakes. “How are you managing your days?” someone asked me.
“I find that I can stay on track as long as I run, write, and see daylight,” I shared.
It was true, on days that I could squeeze in all three (and view each one as a luxury rather than a stressor) life felt pretty extraordinary. There were a lot of days at the start of the month when I drove to school during sunrise and left school in the dark. Then, I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. Sandberg assured me that leaving the workplace at a reasonable hour did not show disregard for the work itself. Allowing myself some Vitamin D didn’t excuse me from grading journals, but it did allow for a sensory break. I would commit to pre-writing during my run, formulating a rough draft in my mind as I ticked off the miles. Then, I would sit down at my desk and let 1,000 words pour from my finger tips.
November has come to a close. I logged my miles and tucked my 30,000 words into a drawer. Still, I feel compelled to stick to my mantra, and everyday that I do, I am more sharp, healthy, and optimistic.