Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In Which I Compete With Myself (and lose)

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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.


Screaming GIF


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?

Do not question us GIF

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?

Tom Tired GIF

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:

Twitter post

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!

Cat Nodding GIF

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.



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!


  1. The fact that you have ever written that many words in a month, is accomplishment in itself. You are not a failure! :D I wish I could write like that, as it is I am just barely scraping up 20,000 words for the Roogle Wood Press contest. I'm sure your book is fabulous so far.

    1. I needed that reminder. Any words is an accomplishment. Thank you, Skye! *huggles*

      Oh girl, you're going to get this thing. I know you are! Just keep pushing forward. I KNOW you can do this. And your novella sounds sooo interesting in unique. The world NEEDS it. Keep writing! *cheers*

      I'm not sure "fabulous" is the word I'd use for my book. Lol. I feel like it's a mess, but it is a first draft and right now I'm just trying to get it all down. We'll worry about the state of it far later in the future. ;)

  2. Ahhhh, we're neck in neck -- and going for the same goal! I just hit 54,000 (well, almost. Not quite. 700 words to it. :P) and I just saw that you also did on Twitter! My goal isn't just 100k, it's however many words I need in order to finish my novel. So I'm desperately hoping that it'll come out nicely at 100k BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYMORE WRITING IN DECEMBER. *nervous laughter* Yeah. We'll see how it goes. I should probably get ahead just in case it happens...

    You're doing amazing! *throws confetti*

    1. Eeeee!!! That's so cool. I LOVE that I'm not the only one doing this crazy goal. It's great having someone just as crazy as me by my side. ;D

      Oh my goodness, that's me EXACTLY. I say a double NaNo only because my novels tend to end around 100k or so. But really my goal isn't 100k, it's the end of my novel, whether that's more or less. And, like you, I REEEALLY don't want to have to keep writing in December. But I refuse to stop until I've reached the end! ...Unless I die first. But hopefully that won't happen. :P

      No, YOU'RE amazing! <3333

  3. Eeeep! You're doing so well!!! Keep on trekking, girl! I know you can do it :D (Even if Life is VERY annoying and inconsiderate...)

    Basically, Life has been treating me the same way. (I mean, COME ON, Life, what's your problem??) I have done a shameful amount of writing, but that's to be expected. The holidays are coming up (how is next week Thanksgiving???) so I miiight be able to squeeze in some writing in between stuffing my face with pumpkin pie and turkey.

    Best of luck with the rest of your NaNo adventure! You're doing splendidly ^_^

    (On a side-note, you are amazingly talented to be able to write a coherent blog post at 1 am. I would make absolute disasters out of mine if I attempted this. XD)

    1. Thank yooouuu! I'm trying... *wheezes* Trying...

      Sheesh, what is Life's problem?? Doesn't it know we can't be bothered with it when there's writing to be done?
      How IS Thanksgiving so close? o.O But that's so exciting you'll have some time to write! I think I'll have a bit more free time this week as well. Here's hoping anyway.

      Eeeee, THANK YOU! <3

      (Oh man, you mean it's coherent? Well, that's a relief. Because I really had no idea HOW it turned out. XD Ah, the NaNo life.)

  4. Ah yes, that wonderfully distracting thing known as life. It's been interrupting me so much that I haven't even hit 10K yet. :/

    Anyways, best of luck on your endeavor! :)

    1. It's quite a bother, isn't it? And so RUDE. I'm so sorry it's been doing that to you. But hey, there is ALWAYS time to catch up. Just keep on going! And no matter how much you write this month, the fact that you DID it is a complete and total win.

      Thank you so much! ^_^

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  6. Ugh, that life sometimes. It can be so rude! *shakes head* Someone need to teach it manners.

    HOORAY FOR YOU!!! I can't believe you've hit 50K already! 100k is a HUGE goal, I hope you reach it! Good luck!!! *hands you more cake*

    ~Savannah Perran

    1. Seriously, though! Hmph.

      Aaaahhh, Thank you!!! <333
      CAKE! :D *nomnomnom* You are the best person in the world. That is all.

  7. Wow hooray! I just hit 50K today. ^ ^ I'm not doing a 100K goal, but I'm still not finished with the book so I'm keeping going. I totally get being competitive with oneself. I tend to do that and try to outdo myself in things. XD Good luck with your goal!


    1. I was so excited for you when I saw you hit 50k! AAAAHHHHH! Congrats again! :D :D :D

      That's awesome you're going to keep writing. I hope it'll continue to go great for you.

      Aha, so I'm not alone! It's such a problem, isn't it? Maybe someday I'll learn...

      You as well! <3

  8. Wow! That's so cool you're already past 50,000 words! Heh, my goal is to just finish NaNo. Life has been preeetty busy this month, but I've managed to squeeze in writing almost every day and catch up when I'm a little behind. Most of my writing takes place between 9 pm and 11:30 pm...
    I finally passed 30,000 words tonight!! Woot woot! I am liking my novel, despite difficulties at the beginning...but there are action scenes and I'm not good at writing action scenes. Sometimes I feel like I'm just using the same 10 words over and over again. Bleh. But that's what edits are for, right? :P

    1. Thank you!
      I know what you mean, Life and NaNo just do not co-exist. But that's fantastic you're still finding time to write every day! I really believe that's the main point of NaNo, to help us MAKE time for writing, even when life is crazy.

      THAT'S WONDERFUL!!! Congrats! :D :D :D I'm so glad you're liking your novel. I do understand it being difficult though. But I bet it's still wonderful!
      Oh man, I sooo understand that. I'm getting SICK of specific words because I just keep using them over and over and over and over and GAH. I must expand my vocabulary! But you're right. Edits will fix these things. For now we just have to actually get the thing written. *nods, nods*

      I hope the rest of your NaNo will be fabulous! <333

  9. This post, just YES. I know, right? LIFE. -_- I'm sorry you hit a tough spot for your NaNo. *huggles* BUT LOOKIT YOU. YOU HIT 50K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dances about* Don't compete with yourself, Lauri dear--your previous self didn't have all the stuff that your current self has to do... because LIFE. Outdoing yourself or not, you're doing FANTASTIC!!! (I'm sure the Doctor would agree. ;)) SO KEEP GOING, YOU'RE AWESOME!

    1. Ugh, yes. LIFE. *glares at it*

      Aaaahhh, THANK YOOOUUU!!!! You're right. I am SO much busier this year than any of my previous ones. I must give myself some leeway. I need that reminder from time to time. Thank you so much for being the bestest encourager in the world! <3

      We're going to survive this thing, we are! *charges*

  10. Life. How rude! Doesn't it see that we're WRITERS? And that we're WRITING? And that we don't take kindly to interruptions?? XD Such is my life too this month. I've been trying for the past few days to get to something writing-wise, and it just hasn't happened. Between work and watching movies with my siblings and spending this afternoon with a friend, there's not a whole lot of time left. But then, life is so much more than writing, much as I like to think otherwise at times... o.o

    And Christine. GIRL. Don't beat yourself up over this! You're doing so great! I'm glad that you're recognizing that you don't need to beat your past self, and that you're learning to be okay with different seasons of life. I've most definitely been there too. *hugs* Keep writing, and keep life-ing, and try to remember to breathe in between. <333 You're awesome!

    1. I mean, REALLY. We don't have time to pay attention to life when there's writing to be done. Hmph.
      Ah man, you too? What is up with Life and all its demands?? But it does sound like you've had a good week. I have to remind myself that sometimes it's *le gasp* actually GOOD to have a life outside of writing. Crazy thought I know. o.O

      Oh you! <333 Yes, it's definitely a learning process, but I'm trying. Thank you so much for the encouragement! *huggles*
      Breathe in between? I supposed to do that? Oops. *cough, cough*

  11. You're half way!!! I hate life and NaNo trying to mix, because they can't mix. And it never ends well, mostly for the poor Author caught in the middle. I got attacked by lie this year as well and I'm struggling to finish. Which is weird for me, and I don't know how to deal with it. Other than to lock my door and not let life in.
    At all

    1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and YESSSS. I mean, what are we writers to do when we're being bombarded by life AND our novels? It's a horrible, painful ordeal.

      I'm so sorry you're struggling with it, too. I think this locking the door thing is a very good idea. *nods, nods*

      I hope things will go smoother for you and Life will ease up its horrid interruptions. GOOD LUCK! <333


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