Tag Archives: Finishing

NaNoWriMo 2014 Weeks 3 and 4 Update: Struggles and Cruises

This month has been an enormous rollercoaster for me and I don’t like really any of it.

Thursday, I soared ahead, nabbing 5.2k words and going from 39k to 44k, and I could have done more that night, but instead I calmed my frenzy down and I did some yoga. The next day was alright, but not as good. The day after I didn’t even turn in a word count, and the following day I was just 100 words shy from 2k. Yesterday was 800 words and today I barely have written 50 so far.

This is how it goes every week. I struggle, and then I somehow break through and manage to get back to my normal self of soaring through the wordcount and just plowing into the story. The other week, I was restless all day up until about 9 at night, and then I forced myself to get with it and hit 2.5k by the end of it all.

I am frustrated. I have no idea why it’s this difficult for me, and looking back at last year, it’s a little upsetting. The minute that the validation for winning came up last year I was on top of it, and I won with minutes into midnight (of the 20th). This time last year, I was hedging 84-86k, and now I’m somewhere around 48k and trying to find some way to kick my ass into gear and win it already.

I’m trying not to let it rule me, but it’s hard. Comparing my progress is a bad habit I’ve done for years now, for better or worse, and this time it’s coming out as worse. I know this month is about daily writing more than it is about winning, but I have five more days and 2k left to win.

In a way, I’m just glad it’s going to be over so I can stop struggling. So I can stop doing incredibly one day and then sink to the bottom the next. I know there are excuses, but I’m not accepting them. I should be doing better. Just because I want to play games doesn’t mean I can’t do that and write at the same time. I’ve done it before.

Bah. I will finish this month, I will get through it, however I make that possible. I hope, if you’re also having trouble, that you know you can make it through, too.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Finishing Line

Looking through Neil Gaiman’s blog the other day, I stumbled across something that gave me pause. And rightly so, because it was a list of tips for writers. You can view it here: http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/94130974141/maxkirin-neil-gaimans-8-rules-of-writing-a

Though, of all eight tips, this one is the one that spoke to me the most: 

Of everything on that list, finishing things has been the hardest. It had never been an issue for smaller things, the projects that were short stories or little one-shots when I was a kid, but as my imagination kept running wild, I couldn’t get everything out and it sat in my head until I forgot about it.

Anxiety about getting into a new idea is normal. Look at what’s in front of you, see everything you want to get out and write and dig yourself into and not come up for air until it’s finished. Do not be intimidated, or anxious, or worried. Set your fingers on the keys, get the pen in your hand, and go for it. Don’t let it stop you.

Breaks and stopping points are natural. Give yourself a rest. Go back to it after you’ve gone through a block. But always, always look for the end, and put it in there. Finish it. Achieving that, crossing the line and finally having it all done and down somewhere, is one of the most intoxicating feelings you can imagine.

I found something to write last year, and the minute I hit 50,000 words, I stopped, looked back at where I was, and looked at how much I had to go, and just slumped. I made it a massive project. Huge. I still haven’t finished it. I’m barely even to the middle of the first book of three and it’s staring me in the face. Regardless, I intend to finish it. It is one of the most beautiful and well thought out stories I’ve come up with and I owe it to myself.

That’s another thing, owing it to yourself to finish something. It’s like starting a 5k or a marathon and then ducking under the race tape at the sidelines because you’ve told yourself you can’t finish.

You owe it to your story, your wide, wild imagination that never stops running, to finish, to explore, to write more and more until you’ve finished your literary orchestra of creativity.

Finish it. Whatever it is. Short story, novel, script, sonnet, a series of poems about a specific subject… Take your time. Indulge in it. Revel in its beauty and your impossible ability to create elegance in words.

The finish line may not be for another mile or several miles, but it’s there, and you can reach it, no matter what pace you go.

-The Novice Wordsmith