Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mid-week NaNoPost



We've passed the mid-way mark of NaNoWriMo, and I really felt the burn this past week. The words were not interested in me or my novel and tried to avoid me. All the fun went out of town. I got mired down in scene after scene and slogged, slogged, slogged. If there was an Olympic slogging event, I think I would have qualified five times over.

A couple of times my mercenary self (a bit like TssVar from StarDoc, but with more teeth) tried to reason with my writer self (a lot like an exhausted hamster lolling in a wheel, with less teeth.) The money-hungry lizard self kept asking, "Why keep doing this when we could be 100% focused on the stuff we do for money?" My little fuzzy squeaky self was smart, though, and hid under the bed until my mercenary self got tired of poking at the dust pellets and slithered off to balance the checkbook and conquer some helpless planet.

If you writers out there are where I was, this is a wonderful time to laugh at yourself. Writers are never as funny as we are when we're frustrated. We do crazy stuff, we say ridiculous things, and occasionally we find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

To cope with this slog-fest I've been stuck in, I went to see the same play twice in two days, made myself fish for breakfast (after everyone left the house) and cleaned out my laundry room (you could now comfortably dine on any surface in there, including the ones inside the machines.) I also worried and fretted and meditated and wore my ugliest pair of socks and at one point considered stopping by a tattoo parlor (fortunately that last impulse was defeated by the memory of my mother's life long threat to chop off any part of my body that I ever have tattooed.)

Writing is glorious. It's also heart-breaking. But somewhere in the middle it can get a little ridiculous, too. So can we. In those times, the best medicine is laughter, directed at yourself, at this rather insane calling of ours, and at everything we do to cope with it.

The highlight of this past week was when I shut off the computer, went into the kitchen and baked a big batch of cookies that I really didn't have time to bake. It reminded me that spending time doing something frivolous and unnecessary, just for the joy of it, is always a good thing. Kind of like NaNoWriMo . . .

10 comments:

  1. I find it difficult to write when stories like Shaniya Davis' are in the news. I end up questioning the importance of what I'm writing in relation to such profound events.

    Given that you're pounding away for NaNoWriMo - is this an effect you're familiar with? If yes, how do you deal with it? If no, is there any other environmental factor that shuts down your creativity for extended periods of time?

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  2. Sloggity sloggity slog. Slog.

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  3. I had some rural amateur-night characters turn up last night, seeking to take advantage of my NaNoWriMo tiredness.

    "Surrender or die!" Kind of caught my attention. So did "You defiled the sacred mountain??" The last straw was A mere woman does not tell me what to do.

    He's dead now. I could not let such language continue. Where do these people come from??

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  4. Very funny. It's good to know that the weird things we do have purpose.

    Wordless Wednesday - Pirates' Strumpet

    it's possible google reader dropped my feed again

    http://vanessavkilmer.com/?feed=rss2

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  5. MyNastyRomance wrote: Given that you're pounding away for NaNoWriMo - is this an effect you're familiar with? If yes, how do you deal with it? If no, is there any other environmental factor that shuts down your creativity for extended periods of time?

    Wars are my problem, but since 9/11 and the Gulf War I've stayed away from the news; I have too many family members and friends serving overseas for me to comfortably watch the media sensationalize it. Physical pain from my arthritis can get in the way at times, but I've learned how to compartmentalize that.

    Btw, my output for NaNo really isn't all that great; my daily quota for contracted work runs between 5-7K every single day of the year. Knocking out 2-3K a day for a month is like taking a vacation. :)

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  6. Good luck. This is such a tough time. I'm feeling the NaNo slip too.

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  7. Anonymous9:10 AM

    LOL! I love this quote:

    "The money-hungry lizard self kept asking, "Why keep doing this when we could be 100% focused on the stuff we do for money?" My little fuzzy squeaky self was smart, though, and hid under the bed until my mercenary self got tired of poking at the dust pellets and slithered off to balance the checkbook and conquer some helpless planet."

    I'm a lawyer in my day job, so I thrash through this kind of internal dialogue every-freaking-day.

    Thanks for the laugh to start my morning!

    KTB

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  8. 5-7K every day?? Holy Crow! I wish I could get 1/3 of that daily. Then again, I'm guessing your family is on more of a 'regular' schedule, meaning they actually leave in the morning and come home late in the afternoon.

    I on the other hand, have a family who comes and goes at will, depending on work and college schedules and when they're here, they talk.

    And talk.

    It never stops!

    I've even gone so far as to lock myself in the bathroom with pen and paper, but they just pound on the door...

    *sigh*

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  9. I love you for this post...I've been battling the slog too...I might have beat you in the contest... :)

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  10. It was awesome! I was great! I was cocky because week 2 was treating me very well!

    It didn't last. Week 3 is HARD.So I'm slogging too.

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