22 November 2009 - 10:41 pm

NaNoWriMo: Into the last week

I had planned to update this every week during NaNo at least, but once again, time has run away from me. Good intentions and all of that. Bah!

NaNoWriMo is going better and worse than expected. The ML side of things is going fantastically – we have three to four events per week, and people turning up to all of them (!!!). It’s much better than last year, and I can’t say enough how grateful I am to have help this year. I couldn’t have done a lot of this stuff without my fellow MLs.

The best part is the the wrimos have noticed and are also grateful. I’ve had lots of comments about the write-ins and other stuff we’ve got going on, all of them positive. It gives me such a boost to hear stuff like that; it’s always nice to know that your work is appreciated and that you’re getting stuff right. We do all these events so that people come together, write, socialise and, most importantly, have fun. If that’s happening, I’m a happy ML.

I am, however, rushed off my feet. There were two write-ins this weekend, and I was due to be at both of them. I wound up pulling out of today’s, knowing that there would be other MLs present to pick up the stuff I usually do there. The Chronic Fatigue is biting pretty hard at the moment, which isn’t a surprise considering how much I’m running around at the moment. Also, I wanted to get my head down and do my own writing; it’s very easy to let all the ML duties distract me from NaNo itself and writing my own novel.

My writing isn’t going to plan. I’m getting plenty done on the weekends – especially since I started taking headphones to write-ins so I could zone out and write, rather than monitoring the meeting and joining in with every conversation (I’m a social butterfly, what can I say?). However, during the week, I’m not getting as much done.

The thing I was afraid of is happening. I’ve been in such a routine with my writing this year – writing a post a day, editing, and posting it up – that it’s hard to step up the pace and write more. I should be doing two posts per day if I’m going to hit my target of getting everything up until the end of December written. Couple that with a crazy work situation – the Team Leader stuff continues, quieter than before but still busy enough that it’s sucking up a lot of my mental energy – and it doesn’t leave me with much impetus to write more per day.

My attempts to make writing time have frequently been thwarted. I managed to get out of work a little early and hoped to get in a couple of hours’ writing when I got home, and I got to the train station to find that all of the signals in the city centre had broken. I waited nearly an hour for a train, and it crawled all the way home, stuffed to the gills with frustrated commuters. By the time I got home, I was so tired and hungry that I wound up just editing and posting, then cooked and zoned out in front of the TV.

I’d hoped to have a full day to write today too, but I was so tired after being out all day yesterday at a write-in that the morning was mostly pottering around in a daze. Plus I had to sort out all my weekly chores so that I have clean dishes and clothes and food and all those small, essential things that get missed when you’re out all the time.

I swear, I need a maid. A very cheap, invisible maid. …hmm, maybe that’s an idea to shelve for a future short story.

So, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been playing catchup half the time, which is a stressful situation I have managed to avoid in my previous NaNo ventures. However, it’s not all bad news.

I’m on track with my wordcount. Almost 39,000 words now, which puts me a day or so ahead of target. If I keep going as I am, I’ll make the required 50k, probably by the skin of my teeth.

I’m not doing so well with the post count. I should be halfway through December by now, but I’m only up to the 5th. I might wind up having to write post-NaNo to finish things up. That’s not a disaster, but it leaves me with less of a break before I start the next blogfic. Or possibly no break at all – it’s hard to say yet.

What this means is that the posts have swelled – as NaNo kicked in, I became more verbose, and it has been a struggle to keep the post lengths down to a reasonable level. I’ve had to split a few of them up into more manageable chunks, which isn’t ideal but it has helped fill in the posts. My rough average for a month’s posts is about 25,000 words, but November finished up at over 33,000. Whoops. Not exactly what I had intended to do!

Yesterday, I finally got to the end of November’s posts. That was such a good feeling – I could breathe again. I knew that once I started on December’s posts, I was on the downhill run – that was my own personal halfway mark. Today, I spent the afternoon writing out the first few posts for December, making a dent in the backlog. It still feels strange to finish a post and then move straight on to the next one; I keep wanting to pause and edit. While it is a good habit to write every day, it has its down-sides too!

This evening, I went over the posts for November that haven’t gone up yet. This is one bit of really good news: they are all edited and scheduled. I don’t need to do any of that over the next eight days. No more stopping to sort out the day’s post; I can concentrate on writing now. I can’t say how freeing that is (partly because I’ve only just finished and haven’t enjoyed an edit-free day yet) but I am looking forward to it! With luck, I can get my head down and make some decent progress through December’s posts between now and the end of NaNo.

Also, I think the plot is on-track to get where it needs to go. I have a good idea of where I need the group – and the story – to get to, and I know roughly what the last post will look like. So far, it’s lining up (allowing for the ridiculously long travel times that happen in the Apocalypse Blog). It’s hard to judge exactly how it’ll pan out, but I think I have given myself enough leeway to make it fit. Fingers crossed!

Right. I’m tired and have to be up early for work tomorrow. My brain is shutting down (it’s possible it did that before I started this post, but shhh, don’t tell anyone). Time to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything and hit the sack. Oh, and I have another milestone turning up soon – I must look up when that is. Whee!

Another crazy, event-heavy week coming up. Catch you all on the flipside. Wish me luck!

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