It’s been a tough-to-get-going kind of month this… year, actually but I’m finally making some progress with my NaNoWriMo 2018 project!
You know when you get to the end of a story and you’re like, WAIT… what actually happened? Does this ending make sense? Did I contradict myself a few too many times? And when I’m writing with a deadline, the answers are No Idea, Not at ALL, and Absolutely. So down into the editing hole I go with a flashlight, some note cards, and a big ole red pen.
I’m not entirely unhappy with what I’m finding down here either. I am absolutely in love with my 13-year-old character, Amerie:
“Mara, I know we just met,” Amerie said in an excellent impression of maturity belied only by her sparkly rainbow journal cover. “But you have to know this about me: I am a feminist and I know some people are like, ‘feminists are terrible’ but it’s not true. Beyonce is a feminist and she’s like, American royalty.”
“Agreed,” I said because… truth. Beyonce is a queen. And if a girl’s gonna choose a role model, she could hardly do any better.
“So I’m not like, actually about to let a boy change who I am. I’ve seen Frozen.”
I hadn’t. So I … really didn’t understand the reference. Touche, child. Touche.
Here’s a little secret about this entire piece: Amerie is the hero.
So, that’s done.
I’m gonna go walk confidently to the coffee machine now, making no eye contact and checking the floor for obstacles.
Yes, today is the last day of NaNo and yes, I should be focused on that but instead, I’m thinking about How To Walk, as taught by a college professor of mine.
You must walk with your chest or hips leading. You must hold your chin up, keep your back straight. You must keep your eyes up and make eye contact with the people you pass. This is what confidence looks like and you MUST project confidence.
Ok, but… must I? Must strangers know that I am CONFIDENT or can I just BE confident and not care what strangers think? Must I make eye contact or can I just ignore most of the people I pass because what the hell do I care what they’re doing? Must I keep my eyes up because I’m nearsighted and I do not wear my glasses so, for real, I need to look down a lot so I don’t trip.
Must I project confidence? Because I’d rather project LEAVE ME ALONE, I’M NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
This train of thought brought to you by The Extroverts Ain’t Always Right, Just Loud Awareness Campaign.
Now let’s go quietly be confident that I’m going to win Nanowrimo 2018 because that’s for me, ya’ll. I write for me.
I’m not counting my chickens or anything but there’s two days left of NaNoWriMo and my wordcount is 48,385.
So. You know. I’m feeling a little…. INVINCIBLE!
You can’t stop me, life! You can’t slow ME down, priorities! You can’t– oh wait, both kids pooped and it’s almost dinner time and I have to bring the boy to karate in an hour? Right. So… I’m occasionally vincible. That’s ok.
There are certain drawbacks to being a pantser. For instance, I just discovered what a total douche one of my main characters is and now I’m like, LET’S JUST SCRAP THE WHOLE THING because this isn’t working out the way I thought it would.
There are certain benefits to being a pantser. Now this character is intentionally a douche bag and there will be consequences for his actions. I don’t know what they are yet, but I look forward to seeing his comeuppance.
I’ve read a bit about the use of “she said”s , both the pros and the cons, and while you really could come down on either side of the debate, I was two words away from today’s NaNo word count goal.
So you know what? She said.
I met the word count goal 8 days in a row and told myself I’d catch up on Sunday when I fell behind.
It’s Sunday, I have a half-dozen metaphorical fires to put out, and my brain does not care half as much about writing this thing as it does making sure the rest of my life doesn’t burn down around me.
This is what I anticipated when I started NaNo this month. I was kinda just hoping that was the pessimism talking and that it’d all work out in the end.
It’s only three days in so really, it’s too early to make any predictions but what I’ve got going for me so far:
- I’ve met the word count goal every day so far
- I’ve found a way to sneak like 15-20 minutes of writing into my regular routine with only minor changes that my son only sort of notices.
- My husband is on board so far with helping me find more time by taking the kids on a nap ride in the afternoon without me. This won’t work every day but it’s working so far
- I’ve chosen a story that I’m interested in finding out more about in a location I’ve been curious about for a while with a main character who reflects some of my current attitudes about interacting with other humans (bad) so it’s been easy to write so far
- I’m so used to surviving on precious little sleep at this point. Like, why not stay up writing a few extra half-hours?
What I’ve got going against me is:
- Having two children now, neither or whom will nap without a ride in the car or go to bed at night without a whole lot of love and attention.
- Two imploding job situations where I’m dealing with two separate sets of problems alongside two teams of people who can’t always handle their shiz
- Honestly, like three or four non-consecutive hours of sleep at night. I’m on the brink of sleep-deprived madness, for REAL. Maybe it’s fueling my creativity? Or maybe it’s making my husband and children WANT to escape from me for a few hours every afternoon. Hard to say.
Anyway, I’m at 5100 words and the fam’s not back from their nap ride yet so I’m going to forge ahead and make tomorrow easier.
Or I could take a break and watch another episode of A Million Little Things. Can you believe the baby’s father is the other guy? No, because you don’t care? Well, I kinda do… for the 54 minutes I’m watching, anyway.
Off to a start that can’t be called good with 201 words all painstakingly typed out by thumb on my phone while I sat in my car in my driveway, where the Wifi miraculously reaches, with two sleeping children in the back seat.
This one’s gonna be hard.
This is the blog post where I try to decide what to do for NaNoWrimo. Write something new or finish something I’ve started?
No matter what I write in this post, I will end up doing whatever the hell I feel like doing coming November 1. And there’s a good chance I will change my mind and start over again on November 2.
So this blog post is pointless. Trying to plan ahead is pointless. My writer self does whatever the hell she wants whenever she feels like doing it.
Incorrigible. Inveterate. Resolute.
Pantser for life, ya’ll.