Freewriting and NaNo: Falling Behind

Two days ago, for the first time this month, I fell behind on National Novel-Writing Month.

It’s not that I wasn’t expecting to at some point. I went in fully aware that I was operating against pretty titanic odds by my standards, that what I was trying to do was considerably more complicated than either of my counterparts. And goodness knows there were reasons why I just didn’t have the free time to keep up that day: a long day at work, a longer business meeting, trying to squeeze out a last bit of time with the boyfriend before he went back to Oregon for Thanksgiving. It’s not like I didn’t have an excuse to let myself go–we’re not doing much for Thanksgiving, I’m not entirely sure if we’re on for session on Friday, and due to some messiness involving my work schedule and the re-opening of my library Saturday I’m off on Friday. Two dead days. Plenty of time to write, right? So it didn’t matter quite as much if I stopped at six hundred words or so on Tuesday. Then there’s the matter of being on a New Arc. And yes, this deserves the capital letters. I’d already had arc panic once, when it took me all of about two days to go from the setup arc in the East Asian kitchen sink world to the first meaty arc, and there to realize that the only thing I knew about the new setting was that for some reason it demanded ten magical girls, but this time I knew practically nothing about the world so I couldn’t just throw in a few characters, let them bounce off of each other, and end up with about twenty thousand words…

Isn’t it scary how easily the excuses can rack up?

The point is, there I was, failing for the first time since I’d started. And it only compounded on itself. As I type this, I’ve written nothing (all right, not entirely true, there were three or four paragraphs during lunch break, but nothing of consequence, and I haven’t even found them worth transcribing and putting into the computer). It isn’t just my noveling, either; I’m at the end of about three hours of staring blankly at the computer trying to figure out what to write, typing madly into an online motivator in hopes that the kitten pictures every hundred words will light some spark that my sluggish, fearful mind cannot. It’s fear of something like this that keeps me posting daily–if I don’t stay according to my schedule, it’ll be so easy to just slacken off, to stop caring about it at all. “I missed one, I can miss another”, and next thing I know I join the ranks of the irregular. It’s happened with planning for game session. With ideas for The Company. Lose once, pride alone can’t carry me.

I’ll probably engage in the other side of this sort of behavior, the wild attempt to recover what I’ve lost. Whether it’ll succeed, I’m not sure. As you read this I might even be on the bed with the notebook, trying to squeeze a few new Incidents out or try to come up with one local character.

Come to think of it, that might do. This particular setting has had far too few active characters.

Where was I again?

1 comment

  1. anarkeith says:

    Hang in there. I’m rootin’ for ya!

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