Tag Archives: commitments

NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 2 Update: Smooth Sailing

So after struggling all of last week, and even harder toward the end of it, somehow I kicked into high gear and managed to find the motivation and drive to push forward hard. Sunday night, I think it was, I was writing like I hadn’t in a while, and it felt so good to just lose myself in the story again.

So after dropping down to about a 1700 wordcount average, after about Wednesday, I’m working my way back up to the 3-4k average that I usually tout. Hit 20k last night, might try for 25k today, but that’s a long shot, even if I can just pull myself down into the dregs of the novel and not come up for air for a while. I, unfortunately, still have stuff to do every day or I’d be glued to my desk, writing all day.

I went to a write-in on Wednesday, and one of the people there had told me that she wrote 13k in the first day and was teetering off and I was like, what!? In ONE DAY?

It’s not too hard to believe, but seeing someone pull that off is still pretty remarkable. I was able to write 10k in two days once, just committing to the project, but I’m still trying to find how you can pump out so much in just 24 hours. She did say that she was basically just sleeping and writing and taking small breaks, so I guess that would have something to do with it, just writing all day…

As much as I’d love to be one of those people to get out a premium amount of wordcount, 150-200k, it’s a very intimidating prospect. Being someone who just blows away the requirements and does their own thing, soaring above the average, that would feel great to me, but I don’t know if I’d ever really have the time to give it. Maybe it’s not the time so much as it’s the constant writing, writing, writing.

Friend, like I said back in July, managed about 15k in one day to hit 50k, though our goals were 25k. His fingers hurt like crazy at the end of it and he had managed to burn himself out, but he caught the goal he wanted.

Though on the other hand, I’ve found that there are still a lot of other people struggling to keep up as well, through engagements and work and school and whatever else they have going on, so being able to be a few thousand above the curve feels good.

You’re going to have people on all three sides of the spectrum, I realize. Those lagging behind, those who straddle the line and stay on task, and those who reach far and away what they want, early, and then keep reaching. None of them are bad for the month, because every single one of them is trying, some better than others, but I’m not going to lie: it feels great to be able to say you wrote every single day, and hit the target wordcount or went above it. In my fear-of-failure eyes, not seeing the target hit ¬†sucks, but I’m working on accepting that the goal for the month, most basically, is to write, every day.

An undeniable part of us says that winning feels good, and it does, it’s why we strive for it so hard, in everything we do. We can pep talk ourselves to accept what we did if we didn’t win, but I think we’re still going to be even a fraction let down by ourselves if we don’t reach the goal we intended to get.

Just because I tell you how great it is that you wrote daily, doesn’t mean you’re going to feel any less bad about not getting that 50k at the end of the month.

But daily writing is crucial, which I think I’ve mentioned before in another blog post; when you get a routine down, and you write every single day, you’re creating positive habits that help you and your creativity. So really, that is the key to this month, writing every single day, and making the time for it. If you can keep it up outside of NaNoWriMo, the better. It’s a great feeling.

Even if 50k still feels good, so does being able to say that you write daily anyway.

We’ve passed week 1. We’re reaching mid November already and it’s coming up fast, but don’t let it intimidate you. Good luck, and keep going! I’m on the sidelines for you with pompoms made of old book page strips!

-The Novice Wordsmith

Danger: Motivation Critically Low

I’ve been trying to avoid the elephant in the room, but it’s been ever more on my mind the more I get closer to the date.

Today was going to be perfect, I had a great post I wanted to get out and write on, something I was going to make sure was filled with every thought I had on the topic. It was going to be wise and beautiful and everything I wanted it to be.

And then I was reminded about an anniversary I never wanted to acquire in the first place.

I’m not one to talk about my personal life too much on this blog. It’s typically about writing and what I’ve learned from it in the past couple of years. The obvious lessons and the subtle ones. It’s about things that have changed my life and how I write, what my style is like and how I do what I do.

But today it’s about the fact that I’m too depressed to write much of anything. Originally, it was going to be about that, too, that I’ll be taking a bit of a break this week and coming back as soon as possible. I was afraid that taking a break was going to mess up my groove of posting so much, but this week… I need the time. I need to just be able to not have commitments, because it’s going to be difficult to keep them.

I’ll try and write as much as I can anyway; the depression shouldn’t last more than just the week. It’s like a heavy rock weighing me down right now, but I can keep on, it’s just hard to.

Suppose there’s something in that, though. I try to see something in all of what I experience, how it affects my writing, what perspective or view it gives differently. When you have a heavy anniversary coming up, particularly one from a familial death or a personal tragedy, there’s a lot that can go through your mind. The worst that you can do for yourself is bottling it up. Talk to someone. Write it out and send it to yourself, file it away in something private. Do something with it, don’t let it fester.

I figured that would be best, to talk about the event, but there’s that feeling that’s just telling me not to tell that story yet. So instead, I’ll just say it’s hard to handle. The first anniversary is the worst and the hardest, but I’ve gotten through all the other milestones of a year, holidays, birthdays. I know how to handle them now, but they’re going to suck.

If you read this, thank you. If you understand, thank you even more.

-The Novice Wordsmith