The NaNo Report: Day Fourteen

Yesterday in a reply to a comment – and thank you guys for putting up with these daily rambles ❤️ – I said that NaNo was a journey. Yesterday in the post I said that I thought the rewards were a little pointless as they weren’t making me dig deep and go for it when I wouldn’t otherwise. That if I could make myself write I did, and if I couldn’t then it didn’t happen and the reward was immaterial to that. So I then figured what is the point of the reward?

And then it hit me (and I am struggling to articulate this so I hope it makes sense) but everything in life we either do, or don’t do. Like I hate showering but I still do it because it’s important not to smell. So much of life is a struggle and writing is definitely a struggle a lot of the time. I do have to fight the “why bother just give up” monster every day. Now I fight it because I want to tell the story, I dream that one day I will feel confident enough to share it with others.

But that ‘reward’ of having a story to share is a million miles down the road and a crapton more work away. Yeah I’m not writing to earn the video game I mentioned. But actually what is the harm in giving myself a sort of ‘gold star’ type thing? Like yes you are showing up, you are trying. I know you wish you were trying harder but is there any level of suffering that would be enough for you? Will you ever think you tried hard enough? No probably not. So why not just pretend for a second, that I reached a milestone, that I can say I deserve something shiny for the effort. That’s what it is. Maybe the problem is I don’t feel it inside? That I’m shrugging off the idea I could deserve it like I do any kind of positivity as just not being true.

Anyway sorry that was quite a digression and not really about today. I’m still feeling my way through Episode Two of this sequel. It’s going to need so much revision but that’s what I get for not planning properly I guess. I’m still about 1.2k behind NaNo pace but I have been like 20k behind one year, so I am not worried yet.

Words today: 1,985
Current total: 22,111

The NaNo Report: Day Thirteen

So today didn’t go at all how I wanted. Yesterday I had the thought that I would catch up to par, hopefully get to around 22k. I woke up with a headache which sucked but I intended to soldier on anyway – and then I checked the news. The government apparently has plans to overhaul disability and it scares me. Intellectually I know it’s ridiculous because it’s at least a couple of years out from happening but I got all upset anyway.

Eventually mum calmed me down and about 3pm I tried to write something. I decided to aim for the 20k I didn’t quite manage yesterday, so slipping further behind again :/ still any words were better than no words I guess.

I think 30k on the 17th is unlikely now. I told mum about the rewards idea, and how I had picked a game that was on 80% sale (which ends on the 17th). She told me to get it anyway as I am likely to hit 30k before the end of the month. The only reason there is no flexibility on reward timing is the sale. So I may do that. Having built it up to be such a thing in my mind of “have to have 30k by the 17th” it now feels like cheating. However I suppose if I had picked any other kind of reward that it wouldn’t have mattered when I hit it during the month. I’m not sure I should really do the whole reward thing anyway. It doesn’t seem to be motivating me to really push. I either write or I don’t, reward immaterial, so it’s really just getting myself a gift that to be honest I don’t really deserve.

Words today: 825
Current total: 20,126

The NaNo Report: Day Twelve

I can be proud of myself again! Par for NaNo would be 20k today and I decided to aim to get as close to that as possible.

It did not start well. I got about 700 words and then mum called. I thought it would be a quick in and out to say goodbye to my aunt and uncle but it took a lot longer. I then had chores to do when I got home and it was after lunch before I could begin again.

I did one sprint and then seriously considered quitting. I had about 1.2k but I resolved to do another sprint and that got me to around NaNo regular par. I wanted to quit but in order to hit the 30k on the 17th I was still short of that par. So I made myself do one more. I didn’t hit the 20k but I clawed back some of the words I am behind on.

I am hoping that tomorrow I will get fully back to NaNo par, so the last 4 days I can then split the extra day. Unfortunately there is a Wednesday in there which sucks. I have never been good at relentless consistency, but unfortunately I seem to have also lost my ability for high word count days to counter that. But I’m not out of the game yet. 10.7k in 5 days isn’t impossible. I’m going to need to do so much revision but that’s always the case, at least this is a starting point.

Words today: 2,449
Current total: 19,301

The NaNo Report: Day Eleven

So I had 3 goals today. To finish the first draft of Episode One, to write 2.5k+ and to plan at least a little Episode Two. I smashed all of it! 🥳

Episode Two is still a lot up in the air but I have the case, I just don’t have the A to B bit. I have the first few scenes to get me started and then I hope it will fall into place like Episode One did.

I’m still technically about 1.5k behind where I should be on NaNo’s pace, which does kinda suck as I want to be a day ahead by Day 17, but it’s doable. I wrote more than the par I need to hit that today.

The revision is going to be brutal but considering this is rather more of a discovery draft than I had hoped, I think it’s still making progress. At least that’s what I am trying to tell myself.

Words today: 2,632
Current total: 16,852

The NaNo Report: Day Ten

So I missed yesterday. Not just report wise, it was a zero day. I had an eye test first thing and it messed me up. Felt unwell for the rest of the day.

Anyway today!

I did the math and I worked out to get 30k for the 17th I needed to write 2,174 words until then, I think it was, and obviously I then proceeded to not get on with it. Mum called and I wound up going to her house to do some cleaning. That took a few hours out of the middle of my day. Around 3pm I had a decision to make. I was so unbelievably tempted to not start again. I had done one sprint that morning, but that would just make me even further behind.

So I am very proud of myself that for once I made a good choice. I did write more words. Did I get the near 2.2k for par? No. But I got a lot closer than I would have if I had not done anymore. I am still in the game. 30k by the end of the 17th is not out of the realms of possibility – well, I do still have the issue of no more plot to deal with, but that’s a tomorrow problem.

Words today: 1,618
Current total: 14,220

The NaNo Report: Day Eight

So today worked out better than I feared as I did actually write a little. It could so easily have been a zero day so I am proud of myself that I did something. Tomorrow will also be difficult as I have an eye test in the morning, and a doctors appointment in the afternoon, so it will be a struggle to write again.

However, I want to hit 30k on or before the 17th (technically NaNo par puts 30k on the 18th) because the 30k reward I have selected is a video game which is on sale for 80% off and the sale ends then. If I miss it then it’s gone until the next time it’s on sale which is who knows when.

Now I was hoping this would light a bit of a fire but I am concerned as I am coming to the end of Episode 1 of the serial, and I have next to nothing planned past this. A few scribbled notes and that’s it. As I ground to a halt today as I had to describe a magical artifact and I couldn’t decide what it looked like… well it’s a problem. So I’m not sure how this is going to go :/ hopefully my subconscious is working for me and I will have an answer. I am not betting on it but hey let’s be optimistic!

Anyway I am ending the day having slipped behind par again. I could really do with another catch-up/get ahead this weekend.

Words today: 581
Current total: 12,602

The NaNo Report: Day Seven

What I wanted most from NaNo this year was to rediscover my joy for writing and thus far that has been an epic failure.

I don’t know what to do really because the real problem isn’t with the story, or the awful writing of it, it’s with me. I have a bad case of lazy really in that I want to do things, but I don’t actually want to do them. I don’t really want to do anything.

It’s a dilemma because persisting isn’t helping with the joy, but discipline is important. If I ever want to get anywhere with the writing I need to put in the effort, but it’s a slog and it’s miserable 🙁

Anyway I procrastinated a lot, which I also hate, but I did eventually manage to get some words and finish another scene.

Tomorrow is Wednesday which is chore day. I have to go to the grocery store which usually wrecks me for the day so I am not expecting a lot of words tomorrow :/

Words today: 1,247
Current total: 12,021

The NaNo Report: Day Six

Today did not start well. I wasn’t sure why but eventually reasoned out that I was subconsciously worried about the appointment at noon. Unfortunately turns out I had good reason to be worried. The words I scraped together this morning are the only ones I got.

Just so nobody think it was more than what it was (just my issues causing trouble again). I thought someone was coming to my house to confirm a measurement from a previous survey, turns out it was another whole survey. Having a stranger poking around every room, taking photos, I have real personal space issues and I feel violated. I cried a lot and have spent the afternoon under a heavy blanket with a cuddly.

Anyway it wasn’t a total zero day and I was a day ahead thanks to my weekend, so while I have lost a good chunk of my buffer, I’m not behind again. Hopefully I can get back on track tomorrow.

Words today: 607
Current total: 10,747

The NaNo Report: Day Five

I made the 10k *dances*

The writing is appallingly awful and I am probably going to have to chuck most of it. I really do hate that feel. It’s why I switched off my last draft to revise a draft instead. I made hundreds of pages of notes from writing craft books this summer – I want to improve! – but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like any of the lessons have sunk in.

My current hope is that I am working out the fundamentals. What I really hate is realising I have made a structural story error as then it’s not a matter of revision – it’s a rewrite. They are different. If I can get to the end of this and just need to work on how it is written, rather than what is written, I will be thrilled.

Also I am hoping if I can keep running I will outrun the despair at the awfulness which is what usually stops me from writing…

But 10k! I am about ¾ through the outline now so I am even doing well with the length estimate. Honestly knock me over with a feather that never happens.

I still have no real idea of what comes next (except in the broadest sense) so that will be fun (not!) for next week. Future!Me is going to hate me.

Words today: 3,082
Current total: 10,140

The NaNo Report: Day Four

Did I state my intentions yesterday? I think I did. Basically 10k by the end of Sunday. Oh! But the complication was I was nearly out of outline which meant I didn’t know what I was writing.

This was my challenge if I chose to accept it – and I did.

It didn’t go smoothly. The gaps between sprints were way too long. But I got the words I needed for today AND best of all I managed to outline the rest of the episode. So I am sorted for the next few days. I will then be in more trouble because I will reach episode two which doesn’t even have a starting point buuuut that’s next weeks problem.

I’m so pleased that I managed to get that outline sorted. I feel like there was some cool echoes that fell into place too, little foreshadowing hints and stuff.

Anyway tomorrow is another big word day as I need 3k to hit my target of 10k so cross fingers!

Words today: 2,720
Current total: 7,058