Against All Two Little Adorable Odds

Happy last day of NaNoWriMo 2017! If you haven’t finished, may all the words unburden themselves from your finger tips and your editing brain take a little break until you’re done.

I’m proud to announce that despite a buttload of obstacles (and by buttload, I mean the actual unit of measure equaling a barrel of wine which I cannot drink because I am nursing) I got my 50,000+ words thereby making me a…

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I mean, I’m a winner no matter what because I look my mirror reflection in the eye every morning and tell her so, but it is gratifying to accomplish a goal and get a t-shirt so I can brag about it.

What I cannot brag about, however, is having a finished manuscript. Far from it. I can imagine the chapter I’m currently writing as being the last one but I have the kind of ending that’s like… “the only change was in my mind and I still haven’t decided what to do about it. The End”

True to life, man. Because I think I’ve finally emerged from the dark cave of baby blues–or at least found the exit, if I haven’t quite made it through the gift shop yet–and I don’t know what the hell to do with myself now. This WIP, this challenge was the thing that was keeping me going. After today, I don’t know. I’ll just have to use “getting through the holidays” as my motivation to keep moving forward until I find something else to cling to.

Maybe I’ll put an effort into finishing my NaNo project. Maybe I’ll start something new. Either way, I’ll definitely be doing it from a better mental state than I started this month.

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The Book No One Will Read

I’m about a day and a half behind schedule and that ain’t bad for starting over on the second day.

I feel like the words will come easier for this WIP since it’s based on real life but I also think maybe the story will be lacking in commercial appeal. It’s a labor of love, challenge, and self-reflection that won’t sell for shit unless I find the magic editing potion that makes it more interesting.

But that’s next month. Right now it’s just getting the story out in as many words as I can think to use*.

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*I don’t consider it cheating to refrain from any kind of editing that takes away words until after the 50,000 are reached. It’s efficiency, if anything. Right?

I Like to Tell Stories

One of my toddler’s frequent declarations lately is, “So much fun take tings apart an put them togethah.”

“I’m glad you like your toys, bud,” I say as he yanks all the face parts off a potato head for the 15th time in a row.

But he’s got a point. When you find something you love to do, something that makes sense to you and provides you with a certain amount of satisfaction even in repetition, it is so! much! fun!

Mommy says, “So much fun, writing stories, ripping them apart, and then putting them back together.” Even when I complain about editing, it’s still part of an overall process I really enjoy.

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Although… I can say that now because I’m pretty much done.

Details to follow! A new book! About ghosts and self-care and workplace issues and feminism! Oooooohhhhh!

Camp’s Closed for the Season

Camp doesn’t work for me when I’m not writing. I deleted my July Camp project today because actually, it’s just about done. And trying to find a way to record the progress I’ve made in their tracker wasn’t working. Being, as I am, a firm believer in throwing out that which doesn’t work in favor of that which does, I’m going to stick with my To Do list, finish that bad boy up, and move on with life.

Sorry, Camp, but I’m an indoor kitty.

Gone Camping

It’s the graphs, you know it is. The question: why am I participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again if I’m editing and have trouble setting “goals” for non-writing activities.

GRAPHS.

I set my goal this July for one hundred and whatever pages, which is what my WIP comes out to be in non-formatted Google Doc text. But that would be just the one pass through and I’m not going to do just ONE pass at it! No sir. I already did one: the read-through to see if it makes any kind of sense. Next up: spelling and grammar check. Next after that: mapping the story to make DAMN SURE it makes sense (pass one was just a preliminary sense-making screening) and maybe during or maybe after, I also want to map the character arcs to see if they are good and satisfying.

That’s like, 2 1/2 more passes. So how do I mark that “goal” in Camp terms? Double the page count? Or double and a half? Or do I leave the goal as is and record only half the page numbers I’ve read through?

Oh, if it wasn’t for my love of graphs…

I’ll figure it out, I’m sure, but for now I’ve got an open document full of grammar errors and no more than 2 hours to see how much of it I can get through.

So far, I’m crap at Camping.

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I Cheat to Win

No, I cheat to finish this freaking book. I know that Camp Nano is only a few days away but listen: if I have time to edit, I’m going to edit. Graphs be damned.

Wait, no, I didn’t mean it. Graphs, I love you. But my free time is fleeting and I can’t wait for the lure of a good progress graph to get things going. I edited 17 pages of my WIP on Friday and I intend to do more today. If that means I have to change my Camp goal again, BY GOD, I WILL.

Because “winning” is finishing this piece in general. Winning first place is finishing it before new baby is born and both my free time and my sanity go on an extended vacation.

Writer friends, are there non-Nano, non-contest, any-time-of-the-year stat counters I can use to motivate myself with graphs? I am not looking to reinvent the wheel or DIY here and I sure as sugar ain’t payin’ a third party just so I can watch a bar graph go up. But if there’s some free online motivation tool (with pretty pretty graphs) already available, please point me in that direction?

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My heart says yes but my brain says, “Buzzfeed?!”

Writing is hard sometimes.

Editing is like… all… ugh, really? No. Ok, yes, let’s do this. No, let’s put it off. Yes, let’s finish it! But like, tomorrow.

I am repeating to myself, “The only one stopping me is me.”

I am reading one chapter at a time.

I am coming across sentences that sound SO SO STUPID and rewriting them to suck less.

I’m asking myself, “Is this what the character would do or was I distracted the day I wrote that and looking for an easy way out?”

I am seriously considering making a graph of what I have accomplished so far so I can feel better about my efforts.

I’m back on Buzzfeed again but good news! The Pretty Little Liar I’m most like according to my PINK preferences is Aria and I just won an Oscar in a parallel universe! And if you’re wondering if I can Buy An Outfit From Lululemon for under $350, the answer is no*.

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I suspect the real answer is “What the hell is a lulu lemon?”

Hobbies are Self-Care Too

I was doing some light reading yesterday in the doctor’s office because my appointment never starts more than 40 minutes late and I only have so much battery power on crappy hospital Wifi when I came across a chapter dedicated 100% to my procrastination. It said*, “Eda, the only thing stopping you from editing your WIP is you.”

*I could be paraphrasing. Maybe.

And while that isn’t all the way true, because I also have things like household chores, chasing a toddler, being pregnant, and working two jobs to contend with, I feel like maybe some of those times when I’m scrolling through Facebook searching for articles that confirm the downfall of the Empire or taking my third “Which pizza topping defines your archetype” quiz on Buzzfeed, I maybe could be editing instead.

I’m not even at the boring part of editing. I’m reading through to make sure it makes sense. I’m reading “for enjoyment” (and continuity). I’m not even proofreading, man. You’d think I could get through it quicker.

It’s a little bit procrastination, a lot of distraction, and a fair amount of guilt holding me back. There ARE, in fact, other things I should be doing. But if I care about this project, I need to make time for it. Writing and self-publishing is a hobby and I’m content with it remaining so but it’s one that keeps me sane so yeah, I need to make time for it too.

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Goodbye Teeth

I think it’s time.

It’s time… to edit the WIP I started at NaNoWrimo 2016, finished at Camp Nano April 2017 and have been using “moving to a new house” and “being pregnant” and “having a toddler who doesn’t nap anymore” as excuses not to edit.

It’s time to bite the bullet.

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What To Do at Camp

I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo hoping it would spark some creative thing in the depths of my brain and getting me writing something new. But the more I hashtag game my current WIP (which was last year’s NaNoWriMo WIP), the more I think it’s worthy of my full attention.

I’m so close to the end! I spent a small chunk of time outlining that B over the weekend and making a list of the things I knew still needed to happen to actually complete the story in a sensical way. I have an idea of how to move forward. I just need to get myself to do it.

And it’s getting a little easier. The kiddo is napping right this second (and I wrote half a page before jumping onto this blog post) and not only am I able to eat actual food in the mornings now, not only can I get myself off the couch and unfurl my tired body, throwing off the cocoon of blankets and oversized sweaters, but I can actually handle coffee again. Well, fake-flavored cappuccino K-cups with foam packets, but it’s caffeine nonetheless and I am starting to feel like a real live person again!

So perhaps instead of jumping into something new, I can spend my Camptime finishing up this WIP and starting on editing. Now seems like the best time anyway while it’s still cold out and before we make any attempt to move houses. I’m also very well aware of the hole I will fall into after the baby is born and survival mode will cut out any writing time.

That’s it, then. FinishThisWIP is where I’m at this Camping season. I’ve already been invited to a cabin full of fiesties who seem like a good time. I’m hoping that interacting with them will help keep me motivated too.

Guess it’s time to change my Camp project, then, eh?