So, NaNoWriMo Week Three did not go very well, haha. I’m definitely behind!
On the one hand, I do feel a little bad about that. I know I can be more disciplined than that, and a lot of my explanations are mostly excuses. The “big dark” has hit the Pacific Northwest and by the time I get off work at the dayjob at 4:30 it’s already quite dark. The dayjob itself remains pretty busy as we ramp into the holiday season. US Thanksgiving is next week and we’re hosting! I received a few commissions for beadwork — extremely exciting, but not terribly conducive to writing. Yesterday, instead of catching up on anything, I went on a one-day roadtrip with some friends down to Vancouver, WA to see the first of the Heaven’s Feel movies; as a result, I was out of the house for a full 9 hours, and by the time I got home, I pretty much only wanted to chat about the movie and relax.
And then there’s still the general state of the world. I don’t follow the news as closely as I did when the November 2016 election happened, but I’m still keeping up when and where I can. It’s draining, to put it nicely, and terrifying to put it more bluntly. While I feel like I’ve gotten a more comfortable hand on keeping up with my creative hobbies, there are still definitely days where the most I can do is write my daily minimum and cal it good.
Here at the end of NaNoWriMo Week Three, I have completed 28,159 words, which puts me at about 3.5K words behind where I “should” be. It turns out (to no one’s surprise) that keeping up with your adult life in a dystopic timeline is not entirely helpful with keeping up with one’s arbitrary writing goals!
I keep waffling between feeling bad about it and not. Overall, though, I’m leaning more towards “not.” After all, I do still write every day, a minimum of 750 words. Maybe it’s not great writing, or even sometimes very cohesive writing, but it’s still something I am getting done.
Sometimes I do feel like I’m “behind” in some arbitrary, moving goalposts sort of way — not specifically for where I am at NaNoWriMo Week Three or anything, but in my general writing career. I have a number of pieces that are finished but need revising before I can submit them anywhere, and compared to when I was writing primarily fanfic, I feel like my overall productivity has tanked. Back in the day, when I had maybe only one quick beta and a spellcheck standing between me and posting something, I had a whole lot more coming out. (Funny, that.)
Ultimately, though, I try to remind myself that I am getting stuff done. In terms of getting my first drafts done, I do still write pretty fast. Compared to where I was two years ago, I’m doing pretty great. I have multiple stories published (obligatory check me out if you like!) and I have one in the pipeline for sometime in 2018. I have something that is almost completely finished, beta and all, that only needs a little more tweaking before it’s ready. Even if I’m not hitting it out of the ballpark of my high expectations, I have to remind myself I’m okay.
Of course, sometimes I believe it, and sometimes I don’t. There’s always good days that go along with the bad. My good days usually peak at about 2K words — which as mentioned before, requires me to be in the zone of both energy and where I am in a given story. My bad ones are when I make the 750 word minimum and call it quits pretty much exactly there. Usually I average a little more than that — not quite in the middle of the extremes, but at least a good couple of hundred words above my bare minimum.
Mostly I just expect more of myself.
“I have so much time in the evening, now that I get off work at 4:30, surely I can do everything I need to and everything I want to!” is always what I tell myself, but it tends not to work out that way. The division of chores in my household means I do the majority of the cooking, and while I don’t mind — I enjoy cooking a lot — usually I hit a point where part of my wants (and needs) involve just mindlessly relaxing. While I don’t want to lose multiple hours to browsing social media, I don’t think it’s always such a bad thing, especially when one’s dayjob is ramped up and stressful. And then of course, an earlier shift also means I also have to go to bed earlier so I’m not a complete dead-eyed zombie for the dayjob the next day, too.
Again, maybe these are all excuses rather than explanations. But the point is that I have still been writing. My daily writing streak stands right now at 1,853 days and counting — almost two thousand days in a row where I wrote at least 750 words a day.
Just because my totals here at the end of NaNoWriMo Week Three indicates I’m not going to make the 50K wordcount goal this month, I’m trying to remember that it doesn’t mean I’m not writing, and it doesn’t mean I’m not getting stuff done. Maybe I’m slower than the people who’re on-track or ahead, but I’m still going. I’m still muddling through.