Day Twenty-Three

Whew. It’s been a long time since I was on here. Comparatively, anyway.

Guys, I have come to grips with the fact that I won’t be finishing my novel this year. I think I am at peace with it. If not, you’ll see some spectacular word counts in the next few days…but I’m not even at 25,000 words. So I get to make up the other 27,756 by November 30?

I could do it, in theory. Stranger things have happened. But let’s not get too optimistic here.

I’ve been ruminating on exactly why I am likely to fail this year. More specifically, I’m ruminating on where exactly I can place the blame so that it lands on someone else. Because at the end of the day, I have some issues as a writer that I need to work on.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I’ve still got 6 days!

Mood: resigned (and sick, and sick of working)
Word Count: 22,244 (not bad for a month’s work, really)
Music: Trollolo song (blame my boyfriend)

Day Eighteen

I have forgotten how to spell. I spent five minutes looking at the title of this post, wondering if that really is how you spell 18. This is what writing a thesis does to you, people! You spend all your time being unwashed and contemplating blog posts.

Sounds kind of like being a hipster/aspiring writer.

Okay, enough humour for now. Tomorrow I find out the true meaning of my thesis, whether the last six weeks of my life have been a total waste or something worth hanging on to and building up. And I even got some writing done today. Hey, my internet went out soon after I got home, and I was an entire half hour without it. I had to do something. It’s just nice that the something I did was productive.

I also cleaned my room, in a half-assed sort of way. Do they give out gold stars for days like this?

Anyway, tonight’s post is necessarily short because 1) I haven’t written much in ages, and have run out of things to say and 2) I have a meeting tomorrow morning that decides whether my thesis is going poorly, or REALLY poorly. At least my thesis advisor is a nice guy. Though he’s a little out of touch with reality, so he may expect me to have far more done than I actually have. Thus the options above.

Okay. Rant over for today. Write on, people!

Also, if anyone has inspirational stories, you can always link to them in the comments. I know I talk about hating on successful wrimos, but I don’t actually hate you guys. I love you. I only pretend to hate you ’cause I’m envious.

Day Seventeen

I guess this is technically the second day seventeen post, because I was stupid last night and labelled my daily post wrong. This is what happens when you try to write blog posts at 2 AM, people. After a full day of translating Ancient Egyptian.

My big day is Monday, so tomorrow is hopefully the last day that I’m going to be postponing my novel. Then I get to play the super exciting game of catch-up. I also get to discover the future of my thesis. So wish me luck for tomorrow and Monday! And good luck yourselves with all your writing projects!

Day Sixteen

Blech. I’m running out of steam.

And the problem is, I’m running out of steam in terms of everything I do. Thesis isn’t going as well as I’d like, novel is going just as nowhere as it was three days ago, I have little energy or interest for my job, and I don’t even want to cook dinner anymore.

November is a classic time in which we put a lot on our plate, because somehow it feels like the boring month. And for me, November has never, ever been boring. Finishing that novel has always been a challenge.

For all of you that are already finished (some people claim they know wrimos that can do all 50,000 words in a week or two), please go hide under a rock and stop making me feel inadequate.

Of course, it even says on the OLL blog that one of the points of Nanowrimo is that it’s for everyone, not just for people who magically have loads of time to work on a novel. People like me, in spite of having classes, jobs and outside commitments, finish every year and feel all the better for doing so.

But blech. Right now I just want it all to be over. Every aspect of my life, really. I am officially requesting a blank slate. Too bad life doesn’t work like that.

Thanks to everyone who’s been following along for the month. Hopefully things will get really interesting soon. In a good way.

Day Fifteen

Well, my fellow wrimos, we are halfway through the month and therefore supposed to be 25000 words in. And I am roughly 7000 words behind.

To be honest, I’m not too concerned. Last year I was behind until day 29. My first Nanowrimo, when I was 17, I was so far behind that the only way I could catch up was to write 30,000 words on Thanksgiving day. I wrote 20,000 in the morning, went off to Thanksgiving dinner, and wrote another 10,000 when I came back. True story. And I wonder why my novels are so bad.

I’ve been telling myself that next week, after I’ve met with my professor and made my big professory life-changing decisiony things, I’ll be able to write a lot more. It’s what I say every week, every time November rolls around, with little variation. I’ll always have time tomorrow.

The old excuse that we just don’t have time is the easiest way to legitimize giving up on Nanowrimo. We look at our slap-dash opening chapters and just don’t want to devote the energy to finishing them. But the point of Nano is to make time.

I’ll be doing a lot of time-making in the evening this weekend. Hopefully I’ll be in a better position by Sunday evening than I am now.  Good night, fellow wrimos!

Day Thirteen

I am only two days behind. That’s not so bad. A girl can catch up in a couple of days, if she applies herself.

My boyfriend and I are both participating in Nanowrimo this year. Earlier this evening, he said that the reason I was likely to succeed at Nanowrimo and he wasn’t was that he couldn’t write while he was at work, and I could write during the day, while I was at university.

“I don’t write when I’m at university,” I told him.

“You don’t?” he said, aghast.

I try to separate working and relaxing, especially at university. I can’t study at home for a number of reasons and so I want to maximise my productivity at uni by not allowing myself to think of it in recreational terms. So I don’t write at university. When I start thinking it’s time to put some words down, it’s usually time to go home.

In my opinion what really separates my boyfriend from me in terms of getting our writing done is this: When we sit down to write in the evenings, I sit down and do it, while he gets distracted on the internet. So while I can write a couple thousand words in a couple of hours, he gets only three to five hundred words done.

It’s very easy in this day and age to get completely distracted by what we can get on the internet. In fact, I have fallen behind precisely because of internet distractions.

And it’s not even necessarily bad to get distracted a little. The brain needs a break sometimes. The problem occurs when the brain doesn’t come back from break. Life has to be something more than one big distraction, and so does Nanowrimo.

So, lesson number 13, as brought to me by my boyfriend: the internet is bad. IT’S BAD. Turn it off for November! Way more will be accomplished. Also, I wills top looking at crazy cute pictures of sloth and wishing I could have one for my birthday.

Mood: quite tired, but not too bad.
Word Count: 18,929
MusicThick as a Brick, by Jethro Tull

Day Twelve

Well, my writing today wasn’t nearly as impressive as yesterday’s sprint. I’ve fallen even further behind. And I was so hoping to make it to the 20,000 mark today. Curse you, Community, for your imminent distractability.

Today I rediscovered the joys of writing longhand. It’s particularly nice to catch a break from the furious typing I’m used to engaging in. The variation gives my wrists and fingers a break, though it’s no softer on my back. Plus, there are fewer breaks. My mind moves faster than my fingers when I write longhand, so I always know where I’m going next. Another great thing about longhand is that you can write and look like you’re taking notes, or write when a computer wouldn’t be viable – on the bus, for example.

The big detractor, for me at least, is that four pages of longhand condenses into less than a thousand words.  What looks so impressive when I’m flipping through my notebook turns out to be no big deal.

I remember when I used to prefer writing longhand. The nice thing about it is that I can really focus on what’s on the page. There are no other internet tabs, no skype messages, nothing calling me insistently away from my story. Unless I’m supposed to be paying attention in class, of course.

I’m hoping tomorrow will provide some nice catch-up opportunities. I should probably stop distracting myself. Maybe I can stick to just the notebook…

Mood: still good, I’m probably just in denial.
Word Count: probably around 16,400? I’m not really sure. That’s not as bad as I thought.
Music: Still Primo Victoria, as warbled by Van Canto. Seriously, that song is amazing. Very epic to listen to while completing boring assignments.

P. S. Does anyone else love the Recommended Tags category in the post-writing section? Right now my recommended tags include the Pope, Catholicism, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. I think this may be the first time I have mentioned any of those things in a WordPress post. Do you think the Pope is doing Nanowrimo? Think he’d run a word sprint with me? I’d totally put that on my CV. Though my nano name, which references Anne Boleyn, might hit a sore point.