Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Day Eight...

After an unpromising start yesterday, I managed to write 2,083 words, bringing my total through Day 8 to 17,892, which means that if I'm good and keep to my goals, I should top 20,000 words today.

When I signed up for NaNo, I was hesitant. I'm not good with the completion thing when it comes to my writing. Now, if there is a reward at the end - a paycheck or a grade - I'm good. I don't believe I ever missed a deadline for a writing assignment when I was in college, and the only times I've missed deadlines for work, something out of my control has been going on - family emergencies, electricity outages, computer issues. But if I'm working on a project "just because" - just because it sounded like fun, or just because it might pay off someday - very often the work just slows down to a trickle and then stops altogether when something new and shiny comes along.

This is not something I'm proud of, and I'm getting better about it. But NaNo is one of those things that doesn't have enough of a carrot to it to keep me interested just on that basis. I'm finding, however, that it isn't as difficult as I thought it would be to motivate myself to sit and write every day, and to sit long enough to make my word-count goal each day.

Yesterday was a case in point. After I finished work, I had to go do laundry. Because we don't have a washer and dryer here, that means a trip to the laundromat. And laundromats, I've found, are like a box of chocolates. You never know exactly what you're going to get. Well, yesterday what I got was disobedient children and a mother who couldn't control them. They were there when I arrived, and they were still there when I left. I left with a splitting headache. I was so proud of myself that I hadn't yelled at anyone while I was there that I bought myself McDonald's for lunch as a reward.

But, being in a crappy mood after that adventure, and still having a headache by the time I'd gotten home, brought the clean laundry in, and eaten lunch, I really wasn't in any mood to write. I contemplated vegging in front of the television until it was time to go pick my roommate up from work, but there was nothing on TV worth sitting there for. So, I turned the computer on and started to write. With little success. I wrote about 700 words in a little over an hour, but I wasn't especially happy with what I'd written, and thought I'd probably call it a day. I had to leave to pick Pamela up anyway.

The funniest thing happened, though. After I got back home again, I had a couple of hours before time to go to Knit Night, so I thought I'd come back in and at least try to write a little more. I wasn't expecting much. An hour and a half later I had written probably what I like best of all the writing I've done on my NaNo project. I still had the headache. I was still in a crappy mood. But I overcame, and wrote something that might even be good. Goodish. Whatever. I went ahead and I wrote.

So, I'm beginning to think that maybe this is what I'm doing NaNo for: just to prove to myself that I can persevere, can get over the completion issue, and don't have to be "in the mood" to write. I've conquered that in my work writing. Now is the time to conquer it in my writing generally.


McMGrad89 said...

Good for you.

littlemissattitude said...


So far, my NaNo experience is doing all the things I was hoping it would do for my writing. Including making me feel more like a "real" writer. I know that the work I do for pay is real writing, but it's all short pieces, and my real love is longer-format work. With what I'm getting out of this month's competition, I'm starting to feel that I'll be able to pursue that with more of a chance of success.