Day Twenty of Nanowrimo
It is day twenty of Nanowrimo, and I continue to be behind my goal by about 2,000 words. My goal is to write 22,000 words for the month, a number far shy of the 50,000 many are working towards. I began with the condensed word count due to a number of reasons, the most pressing being my work and school load for this semester. I have thought a number of times during the course of this month that this would have been much easier to do during the month of June when I only had my work and home life to worry about without the added pressures of school.
The writing itself is slow-going, coming in fits and stops. For example, today I wrote over two thousand words, but I didn’t write at all for the three days prior. It was not always for lack of time. It’s often a lack of energy or even ideas of what to write about that stymies me. I pulled out a book of prompts today and that was what got the two thousand words out of me, which was a boon, but not all of it will be useful for my novel. In case you are curious the prompt book is called Q&A a Day published by Potter Style. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble about six months ago. You are supposed to write short answers to a question every day of the year. I pick and choose at random as they strike me and date them accordingly. Today’s was “What advice would you have for a third grader?” (And those of you who know third graders are thinking “What third grader is going to sit through 2,000 words of advice?” Aren’t you glad you aren’t my kid?)
I also consulted my Writer’s Digest from May/June this year on the 101 Best Websites for Writers. The first six of them are about creativity so I am planning on consulting one or all of them tomorrow if I get desperate. If I find a good one I’ll post it.
Where did my momentum go for my wonderful new novel? It went the way of my momentum regarding pretty much everything…out the window when the demands of the end of the school semester began to bear down. It is the one thing that I truly dislike about school — the crush at the end. And you must know this about me to understand my frustration. I never procrastinate. I tried that for one semester of my freshman year of college a million years ago and it made me into a person who lives and breathes by schedules. So believe me when I tell you that I have been doing my work on time or ahead of time all semester.
But I am winded. I stare at my work/school/writing computer screens and think…what am I supposed to be doing right now. It has gotten to the point that I nap when my daughter naps, my mind is so tired. Oh yeah, I also have a little kid. Did I mention that?
So listen. Big picture: these are not big problems.
But from the standpoint of the writer’s life, writing during the long-distance marathon of work/school/family life is tough. I’ll finish the race. How I prioritize my work will be appropriate to my stage of life. In other words, you don’t pay out of pocket for a Master’s program as the third act in your professional life and then blow a semester because it conflicted with Nanowrimo.
But damn it I will get those 22,000 words one way or another. It may not be pretty but I’ll get there.