Bit By Bit

Where to stand?  In front of the glass that’s half empty or the one that is half full?
Can there be positive outcomes from general failure?
Successes from defeats?

I’m not going to be able to finish the NaNoWriMo challenge.  It’s pretty obvious at this point.  Having only two days a week to write puts a handcuff on things right from the get-go.  I was never able to be even caught up for a single day.
By Saturday I should have 40,000 words and a week from Friday I’ll need to have the full 50,000.  I don’t have any delusions of grandeur, because unless I have a quiet room I can hold myself up in for the week it ain’t happening.

And strangely I’m okay with that.  Partially because I was always skeptical that I would be able to do it to begin with.  Not because I’m not able and can’t stick to it but because I just don’t have an ability in my current life to devote that much time and concentration.  When writing, as I’ve mentioned before, I need complete focus.  I need to lose myself in what I’m writing and have no distractions around me.  That’s just not possible except for a couple of days a week.

So the positives, successes and half full glasses?
I stuck to it.  I didn’t give up after being down the first three days and thinking, “oh shit.”  I found a direction and started it.  I had been thinking of starting this story for literal years.  I’ve thought about starting a novel for years.  I’ve officially done that now.  I have a work in progress novel.  I’m attempting to become a writer instead of talking about it and dreaming about it.
I don’t have the near 40,000 words that I should have in two days.  Not even close actually.  What I do have?  21,000+ words.  An outline for the story that gives me a direction.  Ideas for each part of the outline.  An ending that is thought out and mostly plotted where all I need to do is fill in the blanks.
I may not be able to complete the NaNoWriMo 50,000 words in a month but it did give me the push to start writing something instead of dreaming about it.  I now have all of the workings of something that could, with some luck, actually be a novel someday.  Which I believe is the purpose of NaNoWriMo anyway, isn’t it?  Just because you write 50,000 words in a month doesn’t mean you’re done.  There’s editing and re-drafts to do.  Adding to sections that were rushed through to get your word count.  All of this would have needed to go beyond the one month anyway.

So no, I don’t think I’ll be able to finish NaNoWriMo (unless I can write 29,000 words in two days this weekend.  Not bloody likely.)  But I am glad that I decided to do it.  It was a good push.  It was a fun goal to try and reach.  It was a great starting point.

Lastly, since this is the US Thanksgiving…I’m also a little thankful to be over the idea of trying to keep up with it also.  I was posting some of the poetry and pieces I had written over the last few years and nothing new because I wanted to keep my post a day streak up.  I’m going for a full year of posting every day.  I missed sitting down and being struck by something and pulled to write about it.
I’m going to continue writing my story on the weekends but I’m also going to give myself breaks to write poetry and prose and anything else that inspires me instead of pushing it out of my head because of daily word counts.

Onward and upward, creativity.

Outline!

I got an outline.  I got an outline.  I got an outline.

That was supposed to be done in a kind of a dancey, singing way for those of you who don’t know.

I was supposed to write today.  Get another 6,000 words and then be caught up.  I did other stuff instead because of course I did.  But what I did was invaluable.  I outline the entire freaking thing!  Woo hoo!

I made it to 16 chapters (averaging around 5,000 words a chapter) with a proper progression and climax, I think anyways.  I’m kind of happy how it all worked itself out because I had a wonderful ending in mind.  I changed it around to be something similar yet completely different.  I struggled with this for a week or so thinking I was messing up something I had planned for so long but I think I really like the way its going.  It gives it a bit of a more realistic yet “whoa” ending.

So yeah!  I haven’t done it and probably impeded myself from finishing the 50K unless, now that I have the plan, I can kick out more during the middle of the week than originally I had been able to.  But, beyond that, I think I solved the problem that I was fearing before: how the hell do I finish this?

Another idea I had was to get a piece of paper or something and do a kind of timeline on it.  Draw a horizontal line and make little tic marks along the line when events happen in the story.  With this story there is a bit of a time jump back and forth.  It’s being told from two separate generations and is a bit historical in nature and I don’t want to goof up any of the timing of what happens when.  This would be a great thing to have to reference.  It’d be even better if I had my own little writing space where I could put it on the wall to look at to keep my mind in the story.  But I still feel like a bit of a fraud at this point so saying “oh yeah I need to take up this corner for writing purposes” feels stupid.

My inner monologue is kind of mean.

Anyways.  I’m a little juiced right now.  I have a direction.  I have a map.  Now I just need some gas.  No…not…what are you?  Fuel.  Fine.  I need some fuel.  Geez.

Happy writing!

Writing Has Been Cancelled For Tonight

Tomorrow not looking good either.

I’ve had an opportunity to write, somewhat of an opportunity but not much of one.  The only problem is I feel distracted, justifiably or not.  My mind isn’t into it because there are distractions abound.

I’ve heard a couple of people talk about NaNoWriMo.  The overall sentiment is that its a grueling drive.  It churns through you like the wheels of a train that feel rusted for years and are trying to break free.  It’s hard.
Maybe a problem with NaNoWriMo is the push.  The drive that people need those 1667 words a day because if you don’t hit one day you’re down 3300.  Two days?  Then you have to write 5000 by the end of the third.  It piles up and you crumble.
I think a break is needed.  A day, or so, with no writing.  A day where you go into it and know that you’re not even going to get a word on the page.  Of course maybe this is just me making excuses for myself that fit to what I’m doing.

I forced out 500 words last night and they felt pretty terrible.  I know the point is to get it down but I think if you get enough down in the wrong direction it could derail the whole thing.  So I’m taking tonight off.  Most likely won’t get any words down tomorrow but to feel productive I’ll do a little bit of research.  It’ll give me some ammunition for Sunday.

I’m still on the assault to 50,000.

Melville Island Sketch (1855)

Onward…And Well, Upward?

I’ve reached 10,000 words!  In your FACE, space coyote!

I still have to get to nearly 14,000 words by the end of the night and i have about 4 hours left to do so but I’m still feeling pretty damn good about where I’m at considering I didn’t think this week was going to go well at all.
And I have a plan on Sunday (we all know what happens to the best laid plans) to get ahead of it all and be set up for the rest of the month.
So bring it!

Not that I’m going to get too cocky or anything.  I just didn’t think I would get this far so I’m at a good point right now.  Also it’s nearly the freakin’ weeken’ so I got that going for me.  Wow, this is all over the place.

I was thinking today at the ending of this whole shenanigan known as NaNoWriMo.  I mentioned it in a comment to the new aim of my absurdity and weirdness, stoner on a rollercoaster, that what happens at the end of it.  The 50,000 word mark is kind of an arduous task and what happens if you get there and your work isn’t finished.  November 30th hits, the 50,000 word mark is nailed and you’re not done.
Obviously the easy answer is to keep going.  Finish it.  But the challenge is completed.  The point of all the stress of the last 30 days was to finish.  Will the drive still be there?

Hopefully it will.  If I can rip out 50k worth or words on the same story in the same linear direction then I’m hoping I can have enough oomph in me to push it over the finish line and complete it.
I think I will.  I’ve liked this story ever since I heard the loose tale a few years ago.  I’ve taken that and concocted its own backstory for the characters and melded in some local lore and I think I have a pretty decent story.  I just need to kick it into gear.  I’ve got two chapters done.  10,000 words.  A lot of words and chapters to go though.  Hooray for motivation.

 

I Knew This Would Happen

Tuesday.  God damn you Tuesday.
Don’t look so smug over there yourself Thursday.
And I see you as well Friday.
Saturday, shut it.

These are my challenge days.  The days I have no silence, as I do right now but instead of writing I’m complaining about not having time and quiet to write.  MAKES SENSE RIGHT?!

But I don’t work good in short intervals.  30 minutes to write down and keep my word count up doesn’t work for me.  I need time to stretch and tilt my head back and forth a few times trying to find the best angle for these words to shoot out through.  I’m one of those annoying artists who need everything just right for the picture to form.  I’m also terrible with analogies.

I ended up at 7000 words.  About 1300 short of where I needed to be to end yesterday but I still think it ended up a quality number.  I could have been stuck at less than 5000 and felt like punching myself in the face for even saying I was going to try this.  That’s good, right?

By the end of today it will be 6 days.  According to wonderful averages writing 1667 words a day for 30 days makes it approximately 10,000 words every 6 days.  I’m nearly there.  Which seems kind of cool.  An accomplishment of sorts that I was able to whip this out of nothing and have enough direction that I came up with nearly a fifth of the requirement.

So yay, right?
Right?

A problem with writing what I’m writing, a period romance story (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) is that it requires knowing so much of the history.  I feel like sometimes I might as well just staple a bunch of printed out wikipedia pages and say “LOOK I MADE A STORY!”  But I mean, obviously there’s a little more to it than that.  Thankfully.
But there is one part I wrote trying to connect things that felt like a history lesson and not part of a story.  I know the point of this whole WriMo thing is to just get it down and then go back afterwards and polish it up, but its so hard to go against my natural inclination to do the fixing while I’m writing.  Of course, that is why I never finish anything because I’m constantly trying to make it perfect and I lose steam.

So, I’m writing.  I need 3000 more to hit my goal.  I’m going to do this or die trying.  Well not die just…want to blink myself into a wall.  But yeah no this is fun.  THIS IS FUN!

Progress

I’m up to about 5,000 words.  Modest and only slightly half way to where I should be but it’s progressing splendidly.

Although an odd occurrence has happened.

Is it normal to almost cry while writing your own story?!  Like, seriously I’m getting sniffely and nearly had to wipe my eye!  What the hell, man!

I admit that I’m a slightly emotional person.  I cried when TGWTWS and then again when TGWTWSA.  I don’t think I did the third time though.
I’ve cried at commercials and movies and TV shows.  So its not surprising I’d cry at writing.  I’m just surprised I’ve teared up writing my OWN writing.  I’m not claiming its any good but just surprised!

I need another 3,250 words to get up to where I need to be today.  So far today I’ve written 2,000 words and I’ve got a line to where I want to go so that’s very promising.

 

BTW:  Excellent side benefit of being focused and really into what I’m writing – I forgot about lunch.  Even now that I’ve remember I forgot about lunch I’m still not like jonesing for some lunch.  New diet method!  Find something else besides food to obsess over!

Yay, I’m Behind!

Because who really thought I would be able to write about 1700 words a day and focus on something?  If you did then you’re lying and stop lying you lying liar.

So its Sunday.  The day that if I’m going to do this shit I need to do it today.  I should have approximately 6800 words by the end of the day.  Yeah.  Yeah.  I think I can do that.

Ugh.

-insert facepalm emoji here-
Or…you know what?  Ryan Reynolds says it better:

wiltedfragrantbovine-small

You know what the most intimidating thing about getting started is?  A blank screen.

A blank screen looks so daunting.  It’s mocking you.  I’m thinking to myself, “there’s nothing fucking there!  How the hell am I supposed to put something there.  I’ve got like, not even a little bit of something there.  It’s completely blank!”

There are so many other screens you can go look at with stuff on it.  And the stuff that’s on it is already finished!  Why am I going to go try and start something that isn’t even thought of yet when there is all of this finished content that I can just nibble on.  It totally makes sense.  I should be doing anything to get away from that blank screen.

Because you know what’s going to happen on that blank screen right?  Even if I do attempt to make the screen less blank its going to become blank again.  I’ll just delete and erase something and it’ll be blank and at the end of the day I won’t have anything.  The time will be wasted.  So what’s the point?  Totally.  Screw you blank screen.  You’re not going to fuck with my brain today.  I’m onto you!

So what am I going to do about that god damned blank screen.  Close it or ignore it for another 4 hours or attempt to beat it into submission with a pile of words?

I guess we’ll find out.

Live update:  The screen is no longer blank!  6 words but hey, its something!

Alright, I think I have something going.  It’s not exactly aimless but I think I’m building it to something.  Just a little taste:

Jack wanted thieves.  He wanted unscrupulous individuals that wouldn’t think twice when thinking twice took too much time.  
But he wanted gullible thieves.  They needed to be green. Quick hands and slow wit.  A couple of kids from a few towns over. A couple of desperate, local folks who had a less than shining reputation.  Four or five should do it. All it took was one to pin it on and he was scot free. The treasure would be all his and the code written on the backs of cloths used to wipe the corner of his mouth as he was being fed the finest meals a king’s ransom could buy.  

From nothing to nearly 300 words and all it took was about 20 minutes.  Enough live blogging my writing.  I think I should try and rip out some words and stick them on the wall for a bit longer and see what I can end the day with.  By the end of tomorrow I’ll need nearly 10,000 words.  Jesus, what the hell am I going to do?

NaNoWriMo

Alright.  I’m doing it.  Taking the plunge.  Putting practice into performance.  I’m going for it.  All in.  Let’s do it.  Boxing gloves on.

I am going to attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  That’s 1667 words a day.  That’s not so bad.  What makes it hard is writing them in a linear direction about the same topic and moving everything forward.  Heh.  I mean, sure right?

So…National November Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is a thing I’ve been aware of for about almost ten years now I think.  I’ve always thought it I’d like to attempt it.  The last few years I kind of hm’d and haw’d over it but when it finally came I’d throw a lazy hand at the screen and pull the blanket back over.

This year has been difference.  Or, at least since June of this year it’s been difference.  I’m writing consistently.  Maybe not every day but enough writing to fit in something for every day since about the second week of June (and I only missed two days in June all together).  So that’s 4 months straight writing something for every day.  Some days multiple things for each day.  Some of those posts I wrote were five or six thousand words each.  I think if I’ve ever been ready to attempt such a thing now is a great time to do it.

Of course that means I’ll actually have to focus and write in a comprehensive manner.  I’ll need to think of a story I want to commit to and write it to the best of my ability.  It won’t have to be perfect but it will have to progress.  The editing can take place after but now it’s just a point of getting it down.

In saying that, dear reader, I am probably going to have less creative works over the next 30 days.  I know, you’ll all miss my love sick melancholy but I assure you there is plenty of that to come in December and the start of January.
In the mean time I’ll do what I originally wanted to do with my other dead blog.  Have a kind of recap of my writing and how its going.  Mainly for my own mental dump but also for posterity.  I’m sure people will want to look back and marvel at the “what the fuck was he thinking” when I’m done.  I know I will!
I’m sure I’ll need a break and drop a few things I’ll whip up on the spot.  The creative muse peeks her head behind the red curtain whenever she sees fit.  It’s her nature.  I’ll never tell her no.  But, hopefully her ADD can keep at bay and she can help me along with this endeavor.

So…I’m doing this.  Lets hope it doesn’t get derailed in the first week by catastrophe.

Happy writing 🙂