Friday, November 1: I’ve decided I need to make a change in my life. I MUST get out of teaching ESL and find something else. If I continue on one more day without the prospect of following my dreams, then I will very likely go off the deep end. Thus I’ve decided to push myself this month by taking steps toward professional and personal fulfillment.
Beginning last Monday, October 28, I started taking a 5-week online Travel Writing course through the Australian Writers’ Center. This wouldn’t be any big deal if the course didn’t happen to coincide with the last 6 weeks of my semester. It’s ridiculous how many hours I work at a job I hate, and for which I get paid so little. As every minute of my “free time” is already filled with planning my classes, marking papers, and keeping up with administrative stuff, carving out time for this course will be difficult and will probably make my life very stressful.
I must thank Carol of The Eternal Traveller for recommending this course to me. So far, in just one week, I’ve learned a lot. And it actually gives me an excuse to NOT bring work home with me. As of today, I’m going to start putting my teaching job on the sidelines. I don’t care because I don’t get paid enough to care. My priority as of today is me, and my career and my personal goals.
As if adding this additional commitment for the month of November isn’t enough, I’ve also taken on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge for the month of November. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month. I can’t exactly write 50,000 new words because of my teaching schedule, but I can EDIT the last 21 chapters of my novel (probably about 50,000 words).
My novel of 480 pages has been sitting on my computer for 10 years. My New Year’s resolution this year was to revise my novel and get it out to publishers by the end of this year (or self-publish it). I managed to revise 28 chapters out of 50 before I left Oman, but since I returned home, I haven’t had time, or I haven’t made time, to look at it at all. That is, until tonight, the first day of November, and the first day of the NaNoWriMo challenge. This evening I revised Chapter 29, titled “Pulled Betwixt and Between,” for a total of 1,914 words. The challenge involves writing 1,667 words a day in November, and though these are not new words in my novel, revision of this chapter puts me 1,914 words closer to finishing it. This is my challenge. I must finish my novel this month!
I want to have a clean slate by the end of the year, so I can focus on starting a new book and trying to write travel articles.
Just call me crazy… OR just shoot me now. Bring on November!
To check out these two challenges, see: