So there I was, happily lost in my story, grinning at my characters’ antics, my fingers click, click, clicking away at the keyboard, when it happened. Out of nowhere. Right between my computer screen and me with its deafening demands and ludicrous responsibilities.
How could it? Doesn’t it know it’s NaNoWriMo? Does it not understand I’m far too busy destroying my characters’ lives to deal with my own life? How can it not see? The nerve. I’ve tried to ignore, I have. So hard. But it keeps wedging itself between my NaNo and me and refuses to leave me alone.
Are my hermit skills slipping? Am I failing as a writer? I mean, we don’t supposed to have lives right? What is this ridiculousness??
You see, I have this problem. It’s a big problem. Something I really should get over, but I probably never will because common sense and me really don’t like to hang. The thing is, I have to always stay equal to or one up my past self. As in, if my past self does something and my present self decides to do it again, the present Christine must do as well or better as the past one, otherwise I feel like a failure. Still not make sense? Let me tell you a story.
The little, past Christine back in 2010 was all enthusiastic about her first NaNo. She planned to the umpteenth degree, made a map, a bazillion character bios, an overly detailed outline. Oh, how fun she had. Then when NaNo hit. . .oh my. What a magical time! She couldn’t stop, not for a moment. She had to write, and write and write and write. Next thing she knew, she had done a double NaNo and ended the month with a little over 100k. Well, she couldn’t let herself beat. . .herself. So when the next NaNo rolled around, she decided she’d do a double NaNo again. 100k words in a month. Why not? Of course, after that, she had to do it again. . .and again. Until it would be utterly shameful to not do it. Besides, she had a lot of free time, and the point was to get her monstrous novels fully written. Why not keep it up?
Now here we are in the present, on my 6th NaNo, and suddenly I find myself a little older, a little busier, and discovering Life isn’t so easy to ignore anymore. “But no matter. I’ll make time, because I have to stay equal to all my past NaNos,” I say during my first week of NaNo. And things moved along well. I loved my story, the words came fairly easily, all was going fine. I wasn’t getting in quite as much a day as the past couple of years, but I was sure I’d catch up eventually and it’d all be fine and. . .
Life slammed against me like a sack of potatoes and I stood dazed, wondering what just happened. Suddenly I was nearing the end of week two and so woefully behind from where I was in my past NaNos. But but but! I couldn’t just not do as well as before. . .right?
I pondered this question and then laughed and wondered what on earth was wrong with me. I’m competing with MYSELF. I’m not even a competitive person, at least not toward other people. But apparently with myself it gets intense. And WHY? What am I gaining with stressing over doing as well or better with so many little things like this? It’s really all just a big headache. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, common sense and I aren’t great pals. The common sense thing would be to just let go of this silly self competition and move on. Buuut knowing me I won’t learn my lesson at all. >.> I do think maybe I’m making teeny tiny strides though.
I DO still want to try for 100k (or just make it to the end of my novel, whether that’s more or less words than 100k), but I’m trying (trying being the key word here) to let go of keeping up with my past NaNos. I’ll write when I can, and when Life gets in the way, well, it’s gonna happen. Who knew, right? I think I need to learn to embrace each day as it comes and throw away all hopes of perfect schedules and soaring wordcounts. Life doesn’t like those. Don’t get me wrong, schedules are FABULOUS. But sometimes life likes to shake them up and scatter them in messy pieces. On those days, I guess we just have to roll with it. It’s a learning process. . .
Needless to say, my second week of NaNo was, well, one attack from the craziness of life after the other. I sacrificed much sleep trying to squeeze words in because pssssh who needs sleep?
Those NaNo week 2 blues were getting to me though. With my struggle to find time to write and an extremely stressful week, I just didn’t have the energy to be motivated for NaNo.
But then yesterday that all changed:
I hit the 50k mark!!! And with that (and some sleep) my enthusiasm returned. I had 50k words under my belt and had officially crossed over to the halfway point.
So here I am, all pumped and raring to go once more. My novel is moving along very nicely,
I’m destroying my characters’ lives one by one, and, I think, I may actually survive this thing!
The moral of the story? Wait, there’s supposed to be a moral? I thought I was just crazy and exhausted and trying to write a blog post when I reeeally should be sleeping.
Basically, life is all over the place and I can’t seem to find time for anything. As some of you have noticed, I’m not always able to post like usual on Mondays. I’m kind of just posting when I can. (Like 1 in the morning. *cough, cough*) Still once a week but not always on a Monday. It’s also taking me half an eternity to answer your wonderful comments. I WILL get to them, I promise! I might just be a smidge snailish about it. (Get it? Snailish, because snails are slow and. . . Okay, I don’t even know. Have I mentioned I should be sleeping?) And reading everyone’s delightful posts keeps getting postponed as well, amongst other things. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to balance this whole life thing.
But GUYS. WE’RE HALFWAY THROUGH NANO!!!!!!
Can you believe NaNo is already half over? o.O How’s your NaNo coming? Is Life being rude and trying to distract you? (Pft, life.) And I really need to know, am I totally alone in this super weird competitive thing with myself? Am I just insane? (Well, yeah, but you know.) Tell my how your November is going!