Time to go camping again

Well, not camping in a tent, sleeping on the ground.  Whew!!  I’m pretty sure my body couldn’t handle that these days.  Nope.  Instead it’s time to do Camp NaNo, 2014.  I know I haven’t spent much time writing lately, so you may be shouting, “What in the world are you thinking?  You’re going to tackle NaNoWriMo again?”

Hold your horses there, cowpokes.  Camp NaNo is a tad more relaxed than the NaNo that takes place in November.  I’m not going to commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of July.  I don’t have to.  What I am going to do is commit to writing a couple of short stories, no more than 10,000 words each.  I’m thinking that’s a much more manageable task for me at this point in time.

And, my hope is, this will get me back in the habit of writing on a somewhat consistent basis.  That’s really all I’m hoping to get out of this camping session.  Wish me luck.  Or, better yet, join me.

Am I a slacker?

Where in the world is Patti the writer?  I’ve not been doing much of anything, to tell the truth.  Well, working.  Sometimes.  But, writing?  Yeah, not so much.  I come home from work exhausted and in pain.  Most days, it’s all I can do to get the basics done.  You know, dishes, laundry, feeding the cats, cleaning the litter.  I tell myself I don’t feel up to writing.  I don’t feel like sitting in front of my computer and trying to come up with something to write about.  And I most certainly don’t feel like doing the actual writing.

But, the thing is, writing has always been my escape.  When I was younger, it was my emotional escape.  Why in the world would I refuse to use it as a means of escaping the physical pain I’m in every day?  I think, for most writers, the act of writing allows us to focus on something else.  And I could definitely stand to direct my focus somewhere other than the pain.  So why haven’t I been doing it?

I’ve been feeling somewhat alone in this battle with arthritis.  I’ve spent most of my adult life living by myself.  For most of that time, it’s worked well for me.  But lately there have been times when I find myself wishing I had someone here to help me out, to carry some of the load.  Don’t get me wrong, I have amazing friends.  Many of them have offered to help me out, to go to appointments with me, pick up prescriptions, and so on.  And my step-sister is just the best.  I know she’d do anything I need her to do.  I’m having a procedure done on my shoulders next week.  Originally, the doctor was going to do a more invasive procedure and I was going to need someone to drive me home.  Kathy offered to do that for me.  What I didn’t tell anyone was that they also told me I’d need someone to stay with me for 24 hours.  That just seemed like such an imposition.

So, what?  I think I’m better than other people?  That I’d do that for them, but wouldn’t give them the opportunity to do the same thing for me?  Or that they would turn their backs on me when I needed them?  Or that I don’t deserve their help?  I don’t know.

See?  This is another thing writing does.  It allows me to look at myself and try to figure out what in the world is going on.  Why do I behave the way I do.  Why am I so hesitant to ask for help?  I know no one likes to have to ask for help.  I know it isn’t easy for anyone.  And maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to look too closely at my feelings, my fears, my desires.  If I acknowledge those feelings, then I kind of feel obligated to do something about them.  And it’s a lot easier to ignore them than it is to deal with them.  Not healthier, just easier…in the short-term.

I think it’s time to get back to writing because I need to figure out how to live with this pain.  I don’t want to just survive it.  I want to be happy in spite of it.

Deep in thought...

Deep in thought…

 

NaNo…I did it!

I did it!

I did it!

 

I did it!  I really did it!  Somehow, in November, working like a maniac, tired, in pain, needing sleep, I managed to write over 50,000 words in the 2013 edition of NaNoWriMo!  I must admit, I had my doubts.  When I went 11 days without writing, I pretty much figured it was just about a lost cause.  But then I had a few days of impassioned writing…and slowly watched my word count inch up toward that line.  That line that tells you how many words you should have completed each day of the month.  You know, that line I saw myself so far below for most of the month…yeah, that one.

Then today, when I sat down to write, I needed less than 3000 words to reach that 50,000 word goal.  I knew I only had today and tomorrow to finish it.  The first time I sat down, right after I got home from work, I only wrote about 500 words.  It was then I decided I had to take a nap.  I had to.  After working Thanksgiving then going back in at 5 this morning, I needed sleep.  Driving home from work Wednesday night (I went in at 6 am, worked until 2 pm.  Went home and then came back to work at 7:30 that night, working until midnight to get the money ready for Thursday and then finishing the ad), I was maybe halfway home when I thought to myself I’d just close my eyes until I got to Patterson…whoa!  Yeah, that’s how tired I was.

So I took my nap…about three and a half hours, seriously…then sat down to write…and write…and write…finally surpassing the 50,000 word mark!  How about that?  So, boys and girls, let this be a lesson to you.  If you have a dream, don’t give up on it.  Just keep plugging away.  It sure feels super-duper fantastically exciting to achieve what you set out to achieve!

Write on!

What a difference a day makes…

…well, make that a day and about 12,000 words.  Yesterday’s post was about me not giving up on my quest to finish my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo before the end of November.  When I viewed my stats, I laughed because it said that, at the rate I was going, I would finish on January 10.  Well, shockingly, after writing over 6000 words today, I’ve moved that finish up to December 13.  I’m actually now at a place where I need to write just over 2000 words a day to finish by the end of November.  Two days was all it took, two days!  Can you believe that?  I was giddy with excitement after finishing writing for the day today.

Sharing her giddiness with me.

Sharing her giddiness with me.

 

 

I haven’t given up on NaNo

As this is the 17th of November and I only have a little over 12000 words written, you might be rolling your eyes at that statement.  You might be thinking I should just give it up to write again another day.  Why put myself through the stress and struggle of trying to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month?  And maybe you’re right, but I just can’t find it within myself to give up.

Sad but true...average of 722 words per day.

Sad but true…average of 722 words per day.

I had to chuckle (a little ruefully, I admit) when I saw my stats after updating my word count today.  It said that, at this rate, I would finish my 50,000 words on January 10.  How about that?  But I’m going to write more than my 712 words per day average.  In order to hit 50,000 I’ll have to write a little under 3000 words a day.  Wow!  That’s a lot, I know.  But still very doable.  I just have to force myself to sit down at the computer a few times a day and actually write something.

Today, when I sat down to write (after we had tornadoes sweep through the area and after watching Indiana win another game), I’ll admit it was a struggle to get back into it at first.  But it got easier as I went on.  I’m still going to do another session yet tonight.  And I have tomorrow off work.  With Clara in school, I shouldn’t have to worry about any little intrusions until 5 pm or so.  The plan is to sit down to at least three long writing sessions tomorrow…more if I feel like it and can keep going.  I’m not giving up.

With almost two full weeks left in the month, I believe I can do it.  I believe.

NaNo going slow

Postit

Postit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, yeah, I was super-excited to get this version of NaNoWriMo underway.  And yes, I did get off to a great start.  But…and you knew there was going to be a but, didn’t you?  But now I find myself exhausted, in pain, and brain weary.  I’ve been working a lot, like six days a week and more than 8 hours a day.  That’ll be nice on the old paycheck, but it sure makes it difficult to do much of anything once I get home.  I also have to try to get in enough sleep so I don’t get sick.  I sure don’t want to have to go through that again.

I’ve been coming home, feeding the cats, throwing a load of laundry in, doing the dishes, preparing my lunch for the next day…and that’s pretty much it.  We have been so busy at work that you’d think it was coming up on Christmas or something.  I do have Wednesday off, but it’ll be after closing Tuesday night.  That closing shift really wears me out.  It might not be quite so bad now that we have extra people working.   Guess I’ll have to wait and see how that goes.  Right now, my plans for Wednesday are to get a little extra sleep and to do several writing sessions.

I know I can still hit the 50,000 word mark before the end of the month and possibly the 70,000 goal I set for myself…just have to sit there and write every single day.  No excuses…no giving up.

And they’re off!

How to enjoy a successful NaNoWriMo

How to enjoy a successful NaNoWriMo (Photo credit: nuanc)

That crazy, wild, frenetic dash to finish 50,000 words in one month has begun.  I didn’t get up early like I’d planned to this morning.  Heck, I did well to roll out of bed when the alarm went off at 5:30.  I had to be at work at 7 and had so much to do.  I managed to accomplish most of what was on my list today and I didn’t feel like I was going to have to drag myself up the stairs when I got home, so that’s a good thing, right?

I stopped at Pet Smart and had a nice conversation with a complete stranger in the cat food aisle, caught myself pulling some of their merchandise forward on the shelves (hey, those retail habits are hard to break), then decided to stop at Kroger to pick up a frozen pizza.  Well, I tell you, when I pulled into that completely full parking lot, I decided I didn’t really want pizza enough to fight my way through the hordes of shoppers.  So pulled back onto the road and headed toward home.

Clara had to come over before she went out to trick or treat (it was postponed here because of the severe storms that were moving through the area last night…never heard of that before, but hey….).  I’m not sure what she was supposed to be…a Disney princess wearing Mickey Mouse ears maybe?  Of course, she was cute as a button.  And I was the first person to give her some treats.

Then I decided to sit down and get in my first writing stint.  Wrote just over 1000 words and decided to take a break.  Did dishes and checked out what all was happening with my friends.  Then sat down and wrote about 1700 more words to finish the day with 2713 words.  Now those of you who are familiar with NaNoWriMo might think that’s a pretty good start, but I decided to go all nuts this year and up my goal to 70,000 words instead of 50,000.  So, instead of 1667 words/day, I need 2333.  But I made it!

I have tomorrow off work and I’m aiming for at least 4000 words…whew!  I wish I could say the words just flowed from my fingertips, but it didn’t happen that way today.  Had to force myself to keep going up until just about where I quit.  I was going pretty good about then.  But I’ve figured out something that works for me, not sure if it would work for anyone else or not, but I stop writing in a good place, a place where I’ll be able to pick up the story and keep it moving at a good pace.  At least that’s the theory…I’ll let you know how it works tomorrow.

So how was your writing today?

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