I’d love to say that my Camp NaNo novel is going swimmingly, but sadly, I cannot. It’s off to a very, very slow start. I haven’t even broken the 10k mark, yet.
Back in November, I was way ahead of my word count at this point. At the end of day twelve, I had 29,614 words, well ahead of the 20k target for NaNo’s 50k goal and right on track for my self-declared goal of 80k. Yes, I was unemployed back then, but that made less difference than you’d think. I averaged 2k a day in November; on previous years when I was working, I’d average 3.5k on the days I wrote and had multiple 5k days. I couldn’t write on the days I worked: I was too fried to do anything but watch some TV until my nerves settled down enough that I could sleep. On the first day I had off after two or three days working, all I wanted to do was sit with my feet up. The weather was nice, so I’d go on my balcony with my cats and just write, only taking breaks to refill my drink, raid the fridge, or use the bathroom. When inspiration struck, I’d type furiously away and time would dissolve around me. When inspiration lagged, I’d goof around online for a bit, then slog through until inspiration struck again.
I haven’t figured out the difference between now and two Novembers ago. This past week, I worked evenings. It should have been more conducive to writing as I had a couple of hours before work to kill and wasn’t as tired afterwards. I didn’t feel like writing, though, and spent most of my spare time goofing off. This week, I’m starting working nights again. I’ve been transitioning the past few nights, staying up later and later. I could use that time for writing, right? I didn’t. I kept myself busy doing other things until 2 or 3 am, the time that used to be bedtime, then my brain would shut itself down and I couldn’t think any more. I watched a lot of mindless drivel on YouTube the past couple of days. I’m not proud.
I can’t seem to find the motivation I usually have in November. Is it because it’s too hot to think? Can’t be, that’s only been the past couple of days. Is it because this is a rather difficult book to write, both in subject and in using exclusively first person? Probably not. I did have one day this month where I “found my groove” and wrote over 2k in just a couple of hours. And then I didn’t write anything else for two days. Is it because I’m too distracted with RPing on the NaNo forums, something I’ve never done before and only started doing this past December? Not likely. I’ve excused myself from that before. They’re games. They don’t matter. I have no issues pausing them to take care of real life. Still, something’s just off. Something’s wrong, and I can’t put my finger on it. I wish I knew what!
I admit that I feel like a failure. I’ve let myself down. I’ve also let you, my readers, down because I don’t have anything remotely worth editing into a post, yet. I’ll get there soon, I know I will. I just need to find some motivation lying around so I can get on it. I don’t know if I’ll reach 50k by the end of June, but I will finish this story one way or another.
So, bear with me. It’s a slow start, but as they saying goes, “Once begun is half done”.
Here it is. June. Camp NaNo. Standing on the edge of a new novel that will stretch beyond the required 50,000 words. Staring at a blank page, heart pounding in throat, about to begin. Will it be awesome? Will it be readable? Will it shine forever or languish on my hardrive? It remains to be seen.
I have to admit that I feel a lot like the picture above. Standing on the edge. Exhilarated at the thought of plunging in yet still hanging back, a little afraid of the unknown. What if I smack the water in an awe-inspiring, pain-inducing belly flop instead of a graceful dive? What if the water’s colder than it looks? What if…? I could fill in the blanks forever.
That attitude won’t get me anywhere. Kim’s story won’t spill onto the page by itself, though there will be times that it seems like it. It has to be written. There will be times when I yell at the computer screen, demanding the words appear. There will be times I wished my computer could keep up with the rate I’m typing because going back would destroy the rhythm. Both are part of the process, as is the in-between when words flow in spurts and starts, one or two sentences at a time. That can’t hold me back.
So, it’s officially June. I don’t know how much I can get out before I turn in for the night. Not much, I’m sure. I’m trying something new – writing completely in first person. I’ve written a couple of short stories in first person but nothing nearly as long as a novel. It will be different. Exciting. Like the cold water, I’m sure it will sting a little at first, then I’ll get used to it and be able to swim freely. But first, the plunge.