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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Blogging NaNoWriMo 2015: The Time for Doubts

Well, I started brightly enough.

Day one and two, I hit the word count goal. It helped that chapters one and two perfectly fit the target so it didn't feel like I was stretching myself too much. Day three, I only did a little and slipped behind but I made that up on day four and got a bit ahead. However, my goal of hitting 10,000 on day five took a battering when my writing time was interrupted by a friend's dad. We had coffee together at my writing haunt and my mojo seemed to disintegrate. I ended the day with five chapters written and a couple of hundred words under 10,000. On day six, though, I felt the need to hibernate and wrote nothing. On day seven, I was out for the day - which proved a traumatic experience in itself - and didn't manage to get any writing done. And then I started thinking.

I like the idea. It's got the potential to be a good novel and I like what I've written so far. The characters are pretty distinctive and, as far as early portions of first drafts go, it scrubs up favourably alongside my previous NaNo drafts. However, I'm not feeling the get-up-and-write motivation I need to do this.

For the last couple of months I've been trying to work on the fourth draft of 'Max'. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it could be a good novel if I can pull it together. I marked up all the edits and started implementing them before realising I'd need to break off for NaNo. The trouble is, I'm missing it. I feel as though I need to be doing that work now because I've got too many first drafts and not enough of my ideas have progressed further than that. A lesser point is that I've also been writing something for fun to switch off in the evenings. It's one thing to spend some time editing during the day and then to unwind with 'fun' writing at night. It's quite another to dash off a load of NaNo words during the day and expect to do the same with the 'fun' stuff later. For me, at least, my brain can only create so many words in a day with the state I'm in. So why not forget the 'fun' stuff? Well, no. That is keeping me going and, trust me, I need that right now.

It seems like I've completely made up my mind to pack in NaNo for this year, doesn't it? However, week two is a good time to have doubts. I'm going to take a few days off and focus again on my editing, see whether I feel better.

Exactly five years ago today I wrote a post signalling my defeat in that year's NaNo. That time it was planning failure I blamed but I think this year it's more down to me being me. Which, alas, seems to be an explanation for far too many screw-ups in my life.

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