NaNo 2012 Update 2

November 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm (NaNoWriMo) (, , , , , )

I have been…not as good this week.

In fact, I’d feel downright ashamed of myself if it weren’t for the gradual realization that maybe NaNo- as in the daily practice of NaNo- isn’t such a great thing for me. It’s not the overall word count I’m struggling with- it’s the effort of writing every single day whether I feel like it or not. That’s not really how my brain works, especially not when there’s a question of work. But, here’s the breakdown on this week’s walk of shame.

(and that’s completely personal shame- in no way am I pronouncing shame on you ‘if you didn’t do better’. I set an expectation for myself and failed to live up to it)

7 November Full day of work but came home and did some writing in the evening. This is kind of a strange book for me, the first one I’ve known so deeply, so entirely, that I’m forgetting to give things a foundation. There are two characters who are supposed to be particularly antagonistic to each other, and later on I remember to say that they’re appalled by the thought of agreeing buuuut…forgot to lay all the groundwork earlier for why. I foresee a great deal of editing in my future.
Word count for the day: 3879

8 November Day off! Some chores and errands to do, including a run across town (why do some companies make it so frickin hard to pay a bill?!) but overall, pretty happy with the day’s haul. Got out of the house for most of it, which seems to be the way I get more work done. Some fun chapters- fighting, pissing off a parental unit, and introducing a character I absolutely love and shamelessly dragging into the rewrite far earlier than he appeared in the original. Because you know? Some characters you just need more of.
Work count for the day: 7610

9 November Full day of work. Well, mostly full. I left a couple of hours early because there’s a galloping crud going around the staff. Tis the season, and in all honesty, I’d rather get it now and be done with it then get it any time between Black Friday and the end of January. Can we tell I work retail. Got some writing done but was just really feeling cruddy, so I mostly just curled up in the chair with the cat and some cocoa, a bunch of comfort foods, and watched the ultimate pretty that is Planet Earth
Word count for the day: 1763

10 November Worked a half day, still miserably sick. Hurt to swallow, which made staying hydrated rather difficult, brain not particularly wanting to work. More Planet Earth, more cuddling with the cat, but once the soup started taking effect, the brain started working a little more easily.
Word count for the day: 5066

11 November Day off, but still sick, so most of the day passed in the armchair with the rest of Planet Earth. Got a little bit done, came up against a dilemma with how to handle a specific scene, and I’ve learned I do not write well out of order. The writing I was planning to do later in the evening got derailed by the loan of all the Bond films, on the understanding that I have to watch all of them, in order, because I’m allowed to go see Skyfall. And may I just say, OH MY GOD these movies are hurting my brain. There’s so much in me that protests, and I’m not even through the Sean Connery set. Between the constant cringing and the massacre of unsuspecting brain cells, it’s incredibly difficult to write through these movies. But, you know, some writing got done in the afternoon.
Word count for the day: 3292

12 November Full day at work, feeling a little better but still cruddy. Tried to write, managed maybe five hundred words- so few I didn’t even bother to write down the number so I wouldn’t know just how ashamed I needed to be. So, feeling rather too self-indulgent, I curled up with a book. Doing projects back to back, I haven’t just sat down and read in a month and a half, so giving a whole evening over to just reading was GLORIOUS. Of course, it helped that the book was frickin AMAZING OH MY GOD PUNCH YOU RIGHT IN THE FEELS GORGEOUS (Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight, if anyone’s curious, review will be coming up next month when I’ve had some time to process, stop drooling, and maybe if I’m lucky speak about it coherently). Should feel guilty but oh, it was just that good.
Word count for the day: mreh

13 November This was the day I’d actually planned not to write. Having the one day break last week seemed to do wonders for me, and I’d thought about rescinding it, given Monday’s performance, and then looked at what I needed to do in the apartment before company came over, including dishes, cleaning the bathroom, putting things away, and just generally tidying up. And, feeling a bit more cruddy than the day before, I decided to go with it. And by ‘it’, I mean rewarding myself after each block of housework with an episode of Castle.
Word count for the day: zero.

So, overall, not a fantastic week. Total word count for NaNo: 44, 599, not counting the couple hundred from Monday’s travesty. Near the goal, yes, but just…not the performance I wanted to put in. Would love to say this coming week will be better, but I’m still sick. Tonight’s not looking promising- came home from work, took out the trash, and now my brother is here for Pizza and Bad Movie Night. (More Bond, if anyone’s curious- Thunderball)

Those of you doing NaNo, how are you doing? Check in below!

Until next time~

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Don’t Give Up

July 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm (General, Writing) (, )

Sure, imagine the Josh Groban song wailing at full volume if you’d like, but the sentiment holds true.

In so many areas, not just in writing, we meet temporary failure, frustrations, and setbacks on a daily basis, and sometimes they can build up to the point they seem overwhelming. Sometimes they can even be overwhelming. And it’s unbelievably tempting, when it hits that sunken road, to just say screw it. Let it go. I give up.


Don’t ever, ever give up.

(Unless your goal is to become a serial killer, in which case my advice is: GIVE UP AND GET HELP)

I’m not saying you can’t feel frustrated. We’re all there. When things aren’t going your way, when your goals are consistently stymied, when you want nothing more than to call your friends and have them come over with ice cream/liquor/bad movies/all of the above…that’s okay. Go for it! Ride the frustration, accept it for what it is, allow yourself to wallow in it for a few hours.

Then get up and get back to what you were doing.

And see how you can do it better.

Of course, it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes the answer isn’t necessarily improvement, but persistence and patience. Patience. Sucks. We all know that. We’re all there. None of us have to like it, but it can be a necessity. Sometimes, no matter the rejections, we just have to keep going.

My mother’s in the job market right now, and she’s had some amazing interviews, only to be told again and again that she was the second choice. When people make jokes about second place winner being first place loser, they aren’t entirely joking (unless they were the first place person, in which case they’re just being an ass hat). Being in that place, of being good and qualified and exceptional but still not getting the job, is one of the worst places in the world, because it seems like the entire world is conspiring to tell you: You’re just not good enough. You’re unworthy. You might as well give up.

And tonight after our weekly family dinner, my mom turned to me and said that she finally understood a bit more of what it means to be a writer trying to get published; she recognized now the courage it takes to gather everything up and funnel it into a query letter and send it out, hoping against hope that someone- anyone- will want to bite. And she understood better what it feels like when you do get that bite, but the fish ends up slipping the line.

And I told my mom the same thing she’s been telling me my whole life: don’t give up. Keep trying, keep working, keep dreaming, keep doing. Keep on keepin’ on.

Now I’m saying it to you. Whatever your struggle or obstacle, whatever your goal, whatever the forces and actions dragging you down, DON’T GIVE UP. Not every dream comes true, but that shouldn’t ever mean that you stop trying or that you stop working. Belt out Josh Groban if you have to- he’d probably love it- but do whatever you have to do to inspire yourself to take that next step. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow, and it’s okay if it’s painful.

As long as it keeps going.

Until next time~

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