November has been primarily about NaNoWriMo so I’m going to mention that first. What a wild ride! I was super excited when I hit my 50,000 word target and completed the first draft of 22 Cards. I feel like I talked about NaNo pretty much non-stop here and on Twitter, so that’s all I’m going to say about it for now 🙂
The month started with sharing my feelings about Samhain, which, as a Pagan, is my new year, and my plans for the year ahead. My goals are focused around blogging, writing, social media and well-being, and my word for the year is FOCUS (you might notice it cropping up in a lot of posts). I love setting goals because it helps me stay on track with the things that are really important to me and it gives me something to come back to every now and then to check in with my progress.
When I talk about progress, I don’t mean achieving a thing someone else says I should have achieved by the time someone else says I should have achieved it. I’m referring to feeling more confident about what I’m doing, how much I’m learning and how I feel about my work. When I decided to Do The Writing Thing™ at the end of last year, I knew I wouldn’t be following a traditional path. That meant that I wouldn’t have neat little boxes to tick to tell me I was doing things well.
In a way, it’s difficult not being able to tick those neat little boxes. It’s also kind of amazing because pushes me to think more deeply about what I’m doing and why.
My husband and I escaped from the city over Samhain and spent a couple of days doing very little (and eating quite a lot) in the very beautiful Scottish borders. I’m terrible at switching off and relaxing, so a change of scenery was just the thing I needed.
I’ve tried to bring that ability to just stop and chill out sometimes back into my everyday life and I’m still not great at it, but I’m getting there. After NaNoWriMo (I know I wasn’t going to talk about it anymore, but context) I took a few days off to clear my brain out. The first couple of days mostly involved a lot of twitching because I felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing, but then I started to actually relax. Watching favourite shows on Netflix and getting a bit more sleep at night was so good and by the following week I felt recharged.
I also shared my packing tips for forgetful people. I’m so accustomed to planning and organising around mobility difficulties and cognitive impairments that it’s pretty much second nature to me now. I’m trying to talk a bit more online about living with a disability because I think it’s important for people to be able to find relatable content around chronic illness that isn’t inspiration porn. Every time I talk about this stuff, the response is so positive and it reminds me that some of the things I’ve learned and figured out over the last decade and a half might be of use to other people.
I made some changes to my Patreon rewards in November, making all rewards available to all tiers of supporters. I appreciate all pledges, regardless of amount, and I wanted my rewards to reflect that. I realised that I’m still not totally fantastic at promoting my Patreon because, while I have links to it here and mention it occasionally, I’m still very much finding my feet in the world of ongoing crowd funding (there’s that non-traditional path again). Patreon have lots of awesome resources though, so I’m always learning and I’m happy to be able to approach it in a way that genuinely works for me and fits with my plans, even if it takes a little more time to build.
Towards the end of the month, I got super excited about the arrival of winter and shared a post about hygge and decorating our home. I couldn’t resist including a photo of my lovely new mug and my favourite tea! I also filed my nails short again after growing them for AGES. It had reached the point where they interfered with my typing and as much as I loved how my hands looked with long nails, I can’t handle losing my speedy typing abilities.
Finally, I posted about November in my bullet journal. I’d really missed paper planning so I’m really happy to be using it again. I’m already feeling so much more organised and productive.
I hope you’ve all had an awesome month. What did you get up to in November?