Nano Update – A Little Overwhelmed

It turns out I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I needed to be.

I was prepared enough to write a chapter, but when I tried to advance the plot, I found that there was too much I hadn’t thought of.

Last month, I talked about procrastination.  Due to a lack of clarity, my attention wandered all day on Sunday.  I think I wrote 500 words all that day.

Monday, I felt so bad about falling behind and freezing up, that I couldn’t even get out of bed.  I was depressed and angry.  I called in sick, and I didn’t go to band practice that night.  I thought about the story, and I privately moped in my garage.

We all have days like that.  Often, they’re Mondays.  I let the bad emotions have me for a day, then moved on.

Tuesday, I went back in to work, and I felt a little bit better.  I was able to step back a little and get some perspective.  During my lunch, I opened Scrivener and started figuring out what went wrong.  Why wasn’t I prepared?  What did I need to do to be prepared, so that I could move on?

It turns out that I hadn’t given enough thought to my main character’s family.  The whole first act is going to be with these people, and I didn’t even know how many of them there were, or what their names were.  I knew their.  I’d figured out their genesis and their religion.  I’d done a bunch of world building in advance, but I didn’t actually know any of the people that my main character was supposed to interact with.

Of course, I didn’t have time to write at all Tuesday.  I had to go straight from work to band practice.

I thought I would have time to write tonight at a museum.  It was the first night of a new writer’s group I found via meetup.com.  I thought we’d all be working on our Nano projects, but it turned out to be something else entirely.  They all seemed like nice folks, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking forward to.

I’m probably not going to have much time to write Thursday, because I’m going straight from work to play a concert.  I have 2 or 3 improv solos, and I’m playing music I’ve only looked at a few times.  I’m a little bit nervous about the performance, but it’s not overwhelming.

I did have a little bit of opportunity to work on my story today, when I took my son to the dentist.  I opened a new page in the Research section of my Scrivener project and started creating names that would be appropriate to my story.  They’re simple names, but it was taking me forever.  Now I have a list I can pull from.  I also created a family tree for my main character.

I’m feeling more prepared.  I’m frazzled and stressed and scared, but I feel like I have perspective now, and I think I can make up the lost time this weekend.

Those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I hope you’re off to a better start than I am.

4 thoughts on “Nano Update – A Little Overwhelmed

  1. I’ve been making the word count for each day so far (takes me about 6 hours each day : / )but I’m cheating a bit, I’m doing short stories, it’s easier to switch to something else if I get stuck. Well, the important for me is that I’ve actually written more this month so far than I had in years probably. But today I’m feeling empty, drained. Out of words. bleh. I would just want to take a break for a day, but I know I would not be able to catch back up if I do.

    • You’re making it, though! That’s good!

      I can completely relate to feeling drained. I don’t know what the answer is. Some advice that’s been given to me is to go out and exercise. I was told, “When you’re brain’s tired, work the body. When the body’s tired, work the brain.” It seems to work, to a point.

      Keep up the good work! You’re doing way better than I am.

      • I just read the excerpt you posted the other day. I think you have something good going on 🙂 So at least don’t let that bring you down.

        700 words today so far. I wanted to take the evening off to spend some time with the husband but at this rate, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

        • Thank you for the compliment!

          I think sticking to your goals are important, and it sounds like achieving Nano goals are achievable for you. When I’m unhappy, I’m less productive. You might find that taking a break and spending time with your loved ones is exactly what you need to put fuel in your tank, so that you can turn around and achieve your Nano goals.

          Great work on the 700 words so far, though! I’m pretty sure that’ll be 700 more than I’ll accomplish, unless I write after my performance tonight. I’m not going to beat myself up too much if I don’t write tonight.

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