NaNoWriMo Week 2

NaNoWriMo participant statistics; 10000hoursleft; migratory patterns' magical realism
Source: screen grab from 10000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

The world is a different place since my last update which was written on the eve of the US election. Although I had three days free from work in the past week, my numbers didn’t climb as high as I had wished, for a number of reasons:

  • The main reason: the days off were a necessary time to complete my writing course, and complete it I did, with a day of tuition time to spare. A monumental milestone as I initially deferred the course within days of starting at some point in 2014 while pregnant. My revised start was April 2015 when I was well into the swing of motherhood and felt I could take on the extra load. Two extensions later, for what was designed as an 8 months course, I finally finished, on 11th Nov 2016! I have NaNoWriMo to thank for the motivation to knock the course on the head. I specifically signed up for more tuition time with the aim of finishing up by end of October. After 2+ years in the making, I think an 11 day drift in my most recent goal can be forgiven.
  • The influence of a seismic shift in global affairs: on the Wednesday (Australian time), from early afternoon till a later than usual bedtime for me, I was transfixed to my phone, fingers never too far away to refresh the giant map that looked increasingly blood shot. There was no way I could escape the thoughts even if my phone battery died, as the library I was in, that hallowed place of quiet, was buzzing with talk of the election, banter laced with the naivety that I think many of us held onto for as long as possible (media, polling ‘experts’, the democratic party, the republicans, the Donald even) – banter about The Donald becoming the next POTUS, banter that became very unfunny very quickly. Even so, that day I managed to write 2967 words, have a debrief with my course tutor, and an impromptu conversation about plot direction with a lady who’d overheard my conversation with my tutor and wasn’t shy about telling me what she thought about one of the ideas I’d floated (seriously). Margaret from Elphinstone, if you’re reading this- the brother is NOT coming back, thanks.
  • The eye opening moment of truth: when left to my own devices, with no structure to my day, I fall victim to procrastination far more readily than during my normal day-to-day life where I savour the little time I have to write- they are sacred moments that I am careful not to squander.

All in all though, the above points are not excuses, I am still on target and still far above the goal that I had secretly resigned myself to (days ahead of 1st Nov, I was busy looking for a space on the NaNoWriMo website to revise the target to what I thought was a more achievable 25,000 words. Alas, I couldn’t work out how to do it, and had to live up to what I thought at the time was the more daunting target of 50,000. Knowing myself, I know that had I had the chance to reduce the target and not lose face, I would not have so many words on the page now).

We are on the home stretch…along the way I have learnt many lessons, but I will capture all that in a post at the wrap of the writing bonanza. Special shout out to my NaNoWriMo writing buddy and fellow blogger Doug Branson, with whom I have had really inspiring, insightful and also just shooting the breeze type chats over emails on the site- our discussions have made me feel like a writer (I don’t actually know what feeling like a writer entails for others, but for me it has meant dispelling the insecurities I have of not being a ‘real’ writer in the literary sense, or being excluded from the world of ‘real’ writers because my words are usually simple, I don’t really get grammar if I have to think about it, and I am not ‘well read’). So, thanks Doug for the exchanges that have let me shed some of the harsh judgement of myself while discussing the craft with a writer I have great admiration and respect for; it’s been great talking shop!

 

In the interests of keeping procrastination at bay, comments are disabled until December 1, 2016. If there is one reward to look forward to, it will be returning to one of my favourite parts of blogging- talking to people in the comments! 🙂

 

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