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06 November 2010 @ 12:41 am
Confession time!  
So, I've written about twelve words for nano over the past three days. Not that I haven't spent hours with my word doc open! I switched into mindless distraction mode where I don't sleep, find some new toy to nonsensically obsess over, lie to people about how I spend my time, and avoid anything resembling emotional engagement. I even went to Television Without Pity today, which is my personal bellwether for this becoming a phase and not just "Oh, it's completely reasonable that I'm scouring the internet for Dancing with the Stars fanfic where, like, Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya make boring coffee together and do the crossword, and surely this bizarre whim will all blow over in an hour."

Das Boy gave me a pep talk about not quitting. I got mildly cross (on the inside) because he was rightly pointing out that I'm doing this wrong and called me on my bullshit, and then I went home to write and instead read Television Without Pity and watch youtube clips of local TV stations interviewing DWTS stars. Ehhhhnnng.

My excuse is that I'm detaching from emotional things - including writing - because I don't want to have a meltdown. I've been simmering on emotional stress for a while, and then worry about my mom's health is making my calm feel a little precarious.

Even if this excuse is reasonable and legit, this is still a really bad strategy (and a bit of a trope in my life). I won't sleep, I'll get sick, I'll fail at nano, I'll have a meltdown about being sick/failing at everything, and I'll spend a few weeks or months crying in bed and/or the hospital. That will suck. It sucks every time! [MYTH: BUSTED!]

So, not doing that! Besides, I can't have completely hosed myself by November 5th, right? (Happy birthday, fibonacci! Also, gunpowder, treason, plot, etc.) DAMN STRAIGHT. The vast majority of Crappy Novel Month is still ahead! And, hell, grav_ity (who is a freak of nano nature but still) wrote over 10K this week while crashing her archaologymobile into trees or whatever, so clearly I can do this from the safety of my couch. So, to make penance for the past few days:

1) I will turn off my wireless and write at least 500 words before bed. If they suck I will giggle and KEEP WRITING.

2) Then! Writing all weekend (except for other immutable projects)! Until my total breaks 5K, wireless will be off during writing bursts (which will also keep me offa wikipedia, which is a whole other problem). When I do go online, if I feel the urge to go to TWoP/hulu/othertimesink, I will do 10 jumping jacks or run around the block, depending on time of day. Then I won't go to TWoP/hulu/othertimesink. (The jumping jacks are irrelevant except that they interrupt the impulse of clicking.) [WRITING WITHOUT PITY]

3) I want to be at 10K by Sunday! I haven't done the math, but that will probably still make me behind? It's a nice round number and I'm sticking with it.

10K by Sunday! *\o/* Mars or Bust!
feel: determineddetermined
katyjokatyjo on November 6th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
There's loads of time left! The first year I did NaNo, I was 10,000 words off on the last day... but I loves me a deadline, so I just wrote, all day, and I got there. And then I slept a lot. But still!

Also, I am the queen of 'right, this is my writing time. Oh, look! Internet...'

I can recomment Write Or Die (http://writeordie.drwicked.com/) to solve this. I just plug in 500 words as a target, then have to write, and fifteen minutes later I have 500 more words than I had before (which may well suck, but still) and that convinces me that I can write 500 more... Worth a try, anyway.
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
That is fabulous! And American Thanksgiving vacation will totally give me a zillion hours to write unless I travel back East, but I probably won't, because it'll be cheaper to go on a non-holiday. :)

Write or die! I had heard of this, but not as an actual thing. I thought it was people just going "WRITE OR DIE" as a riff on the early Nintendo game Skate or Die!. ;)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 7th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Natalie Von Doom: AFL; Onwards to Victory!natushka on November 6th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
YOU CAN STILL DO THIS! Its like waaaaaay early to be calling it quits or whatever just because you haven't met a couple of the days word targets or whatever. Like katyjo is saying, you might have like a SUPA day tomorrow or whatever and like we might not be able to stop you from writing *nods*

Its called Crappy Novel Month for a reason right, EMBRACE IT.

Little Red: ares - marsmylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
I AM EMBRACING IT! I talked about a reality show on a space station. HEE.
Melyannamelyanna on November 6th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
Last year I actually aimed for a pace of 2000 words per day. I didn't always hit the mark, but it meant that I had wiggle room and could have bad days. (I was in a similar situation regarding parental health last November – Dad had a heart procedure two days before Nano commenced and the first couple weeks of November were a bit of an emotional juggling act for me.) Maybe you would find it helpful to aim for a slightly higher word count too. :)

Also, don't judge yourself by grav_ity's progress. It will only depress you. ;)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
I was also going for 2K words - the higher word count goal wasn't helping since I still wasn't hitting it. ;) I'm hoping to at least get into a good place by the end of the weekend - I write much better on weekends than after work, because by the end of the workday I'm like EHHNNNG NO MORE COMPUTER MONITORS PLZ. (Maybe I should write by hand and type it up after? IDEA!)
alexandria_kanaalexandria_kana on November 6th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
I also recommend write or die. It a great way to see your words adding up as you go. So it's easy to get 500 words and then go read 2 fanfics. Then go back and write 500 more and then check your email. Before you know it you've written 2000 or so words.

And if I get stuck on a certain passage I just jump a head a bit and then go back when the muse feels like giving me those words. The first time I did Nano I wrote the entire thing out of order. It was a little rough around the edges but that is what December is for.

I wish you all the best! You'll get there. :D
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
This is all very clever! I've never written anything out of order before. If I get stuck again maybe I'll try that!!

Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: Stronger (by Matilda7)joyfulfeather on November 6th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)

You can totally do this. <3
Little Red: ares - marsmylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)

I just had a scene in JPL and thought "aww, feather will laugh at me. Oh well!" You will be consulted in the editing phase. *grins*
Icepixie: [Fringe] Vulcanicepixie on November 6th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, the jumping jacks to avoid the clicking impulse is a great idea. I'm going to try that next time I actually want to accomplish something.

Mars or Bust!
Little Red: ares - marsmylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Clicking is so addictive!!!

Man, I'm tie-tie. CAFFEINE OR BUST!!
georgie: Hogwartsgeorgierae on November 6th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)

You don't coerce me into partaking in nanoi'mcompletelycrazymo to call it quits, missy!

...actually the going for a run instead of internetz sounds like a good plan.
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)

So happy you're doing this!
(no subject) - georgierae on November 7th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
fyca: NaNoWriMofyca on November 6th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'm watching you...
Hey. Don't give up. Seriously. NaNo ain't easy, but it's really not that hard either, unless you're making too big a deal out of it. You just gotta let go a bit and write. And then write some more. And if necessary, send your internal editor to Maui for a vacation.

And learn some cheap tricks too. Seriously. Anytime there's dialogue, make sure you end it with "she said" or "he said" and if you can, throw in "with digust" or "as he watched her undress under the glow of the distant sun." If you get stuck, have a character just stop and look around the room and describe everything they see in the most excruciating detail possible. Have them explain to other people things that have already happened in the story. Let them sing songs or recite poetry to one another (yes, you can do that! A few years ago my characters found a poetry book around November 29th and just started reciting poems to each other - and then they translated them into Norwegian. I will never try to write YA again, btw.)

Also, you're totally not at the throw-in-the-towel point at all. I lost 8 days in the middle of my first NaNo when they erroneously diagnosed me with MS and my whole life crumbled around me. But eventually my head started to think again and I could escape into my novel (I ended up giving my MC diabetes and then killing her off in the very last paragraph) and I had an awesome NaNo support group to push me to the finish.

Have you been using the forum? There is a separate place for people to freak out and encourage one another and talk about how much life decided to start sucking during November. VERY therapeutic.

Anywho, like I said, you're totally fine. It's only the 6th and you've got this long, glorious weekend ahead of you. Be strong. Write more. And expect more eHovering.
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm watching you...

You're right, though. And your cheap tricks are fun. :) I have spent SO LONG the past few years trying to tighten up my writing style that lengthening it again is taking a little bit of practice. But I'm getting there!

Norwegian? Oh my. <3

I was scared of my forum because they're all "cheer here when you hit 20K!" and it's full of posts, so I was like, ACK. I will have to work harder before posting to forum!

entertaining in a disturbing way: Liz and Teyla aren't surprised by your slyssie on November 6th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Mars is so totally awesome, you should write about it. =D

ALSO. Please keep in mind that nano is meant to be stress relief and not a cause of said stress. It's nothing but an amusing pastime, so not managing it?

It's like not managing to play Monopoly for five hours straight.

As a sprinter, though, I find all of this "YOU MUST WRITE X NUMBER A DAY OR LOSE" stuff sort of, um, pressuring when it's really not.
Little Redmylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, it's not causing me stress, only mild frustration. ;) Life is causing me stress! And it is indeed amusing once I write. It just gets not amusing when I'm not writing.

I used to be a distance athlete instead of a sprinter, so you'd think the X NUMBER A DAY thing would work for me? IDK! SPORTS METAPHORS, APPLY MORE IN REAL LIFE PLZ.
MegTDJ: Writing - NaNo 2010meg_tdj on November 6th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
You can do it! Yes you can!!

Seriously, it's amaaaazing how much you can write during that last week or so of NaNo when the collective adrenaline is pumping and the finish line is in sight, so it ain't over until it's over! Some crazy folks don't even START until week 2. *shudder*

A trick I use at times like this is word warring. It works best if you do it with others, of course, but it can be done by yourself, too. You time yourself for maybe 10-15 minutes and just TYPE LIKE CRAZY no matter what is coming out, and then at the end of that time you check to see how many words you wrote. If playing with others, you then compare wordcounts and see who won. If playing by yourself, keep track of wordcounts and aim for a personal best! :)

I find it a lot easier to write in spurts like that, rather than trying to type like crazy indefinitely, which can be exhausting and also intimidating when you're getting started. But find what works best for you, and good luck!
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)

Hahaha, typing like crazy no matter what turns out is always... kind of bizarre with me, because even when I'm writing for real I write things like (AHAHA LOL) and then have to backspace it before continuing. ;)
(no subject) - meg_tdj on November 6th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 7th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meg_tdj on November 7th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Phrenitis: hug crusher (the oatmeal)phrenitis on November 6th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Er, I might be on the other side of the fence here because I'm thinking, you know your limits and know when you're procrastinating versus overwhelmed. So while I definitely encourage the writing (quite possibly for selfish reasons because OMG 50k LittleRed NOVEL!) if it's a procrastinating issue, I'm also completely in the 'don't let this be an added stress that makes you overwhelmed right now if that's what it is turning into' camp.

And who says you can't extend the delivery timeline? Or put it on hold for a week and then push out the delivery by a week? Then again, I often turned in school papers late with some sort of brilliant reasoning behind it that almost always worked. So, I might not be one of those rule-follower types of people. ;)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)

Yes, I know my limits and will not sacrifice my sanity for this project. But giving up because I really need to rest and giving up to watch hulu are two different things. :)
(no subject) - phrenitis on November 6th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylittleredgirl on November 7th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phrenitis on November 7th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Jessi: Writing sucks.j_guda on November 6th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
You are one up on me: I did not even open my word doc yesterday! Instead I made cookies and played online games that cannot even be labeled "research" like my Flickr and Tumblr stalking can if you tilt your head and squint.

One of my favorite things to do is strap on my iPod, turn on my writing playlist and go for a walk. Around the neighborhood, around the block, or just around the house. If the weather's too nasty I que up bouncier stuff and boogie around my bedroom. It helps me so much to clear my head and refocus on what (and why) I want to write, rather than the act of writing.
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on November 6th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
I need a writing playlist! Maybe that would help. :) My iTunes got borked so I have no music on my laptop right now. I should totally fix that. Dancing around my bedroom / the block is totally win, though. I go tromp through leaves with my dog and think about a scene I want to get to - it totally helps!
anranr on November 7th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
*cheerleads* for the Mars or Bust!