The words do not want to come.

Another month. Another Monday.

More questions.

Less certainty.

For some time now it’s felt as if everything is about to fall apart. I’ve been standing on the edge for so long, somehow managing to balance. There are all these saying about how things falling apart might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, but I am extremely doubtful. I think I’d be too tired to build anything out of the rubble.

I know I cling too hard to things sometimes. It’s a side effect of loss.

If I look like I’m not affected by things, it’s because I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t begin to express it.

If this little piece of writing is a little lacking, it’s because I have so many thoughts running around in my head that catching one long enough to get it to stand still is nearly impossible.

I would like to tell you all my secrets, but then I’d have to let them go. And it’s hard to do that when I’m not sure I understand most of them myself.

November is not a good month for NaNoWriMo

This is my NaNoNoWriMo update. Before I get into explaining why November was just a bad choice on the part of the creators (of the traditional NaNo, not my version), let me recap what I’ve shared with you so far, and a little bit that is more recent, to get you up to date.

Although I was really excited about the project I chose to begin with and I started out pretty well in terms of keeping to the word count, it turned out the stories I was working on were not developed enough in my head to make it to the paper. As I’ve said to every person I’ve talked to about writing lately, that particular project needs more time to gestate. That sail lost wind and I couldn’t get it back. I felt that I would be able to get more done if I reopened my Sleeping Beauty retelling, of which I had already written about 18,000 words last year (and even earlier, probably). I dug up that file and started tacking words on to the end. I think it would have been better to re-read the beginning first, but I didn’t have time. I haven’t written much more yet, but I can at least see that story in my mind, so the switch was a good choice. I might actually be able to finish a reasonable word count.

If you have been here before, you may have seen that my goal is 30k for the month. I am doubting now that I’ll be able to make it, but 20k or even 25 seems reasonable. My new goal is a minimum of 20k  words, and with any luck as close to 30k as I can manage.

Fairly recently I reblogged a post about why NaNoWriMo doesn’t work. For me, the most important point is that most novels are longer than 50,000 words, many are well over twice that much, and some are that number many times over. So, the claim is that you can write a novel in a month, yet the word goal will not allow you to finish your story. My Sleeping Beauty novel (which does not yet have a title) is now around 20,000 words, and I’ve barely made it out of exposition. Granted a fair bit of that might be cut out later, but that only adds to my point–most novels get substantial chunks cut out of their first, very rough, drafts, because it’s good for the writer to write out every single scene and details, but it might not be good for the finished book to keep those pieces. So a novel that is 100,000 words in its final version might even be 200,000 in its first, full-bodied, uncut draft.

Of course, anyone who goes into NaNoWriMo expecting to have a perfectly packaged finished product by the end of the month is, at the very least, kidding themselves.

This argument is why NaNoWriMo as a concept is kind of flawed–as are most things in this world–but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. If I get enough momentum in my novel to keep writing it into December, January, February, until it’s finished, because of this month, that’s a good thing.

But November is such a bad time to have a goal like this. I don’t understand the logic of placing it at this time of year. Much of this I’m sure will just be my experience, but there must be some people who can relate. Let’s commiserate, shall we?    Continue reading

Five Things Friday: July 19, 2013

Last Friday, there was still plenty of time left in July. Now, there is barely any (and also barely any money).

It’s been really hot, in the 90s every single day, and, as it’s New England, very humid. Like today. “Feels like 104.” I think the heat this week has really been getting to me. Here is why:

 

1. I have been near unable to get up in the morning. I just feel so sleepy and so unwilling to be awake and step out my door. Not for the reasons Bilbo Baggins cites, but more for the fact that it’s almost impossible to choose clothes when it’s so hot that I really don’t want to wear anything. Why can’t I be one of those girls who doesn’t need a bra?

2. I had such a bad, stupid dream last night. It was basically a terrible soap opera, but it also drew on some aspects of my personal life that make me especially frustrated or worried. Why am I blaming the heat for that? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s involved somehow. See #1.

3. The second I step outside, it isn’t really so bad, but I’ve barely been outside a minute before my skin is all clammy and I’m sweating from several different places. I don’t like getting sweaty unless I’m working out (and therefore it’s justified) and/or I will be able to change into other clothes very soon. Working up a sweat just from walking and then having to sit in it all day is just not something I want to do.

4. As per #3, walking is not enjoyable. Therefore, what is usually the best part of my workday (yes, I know that’s sad) is made into yet another chore. As a result, this important part of improving my mood does the opposite.

5. Many cold beverages are purchased, and as a result my bank account dwindles. Thus, every time I look at the balance I feel a little more like crying.

 

Is it fall yet?

But what to say?

In the next few weeks I plan to make my first writing-specific youtube video. I plan to keep it basic at the start, because there is just SO much to say on the subject.

I think the important thing to remember is not to stress too much. There is no way I could say everything in one video, and I plan to make many more in the future, so I should just relax.

But what if I accidentally leave out some of the most fundamental things? What if I don’t sound smart enough? I need to prove that I know what I’m talking about, dammit!

Judging by what friends and family say about me, that comes across anyway. Sometimes.

I know better, of course. I say so, so many stupid things that I really do have cause to worry.

But I don’t, actually. I do not need to make it perfect. All I need is to give you (or, whoever watches the video) an idea of how I think about and approach writing.  That’s not so hard, really. I can do that.

Of course, I am still going to stress over what to talk about. Even after I post the video, most likely.

May is almost over and I’m stressed again.

I think you guys should check out this blog:

http://aregularcupofjo.wordpress.com/

He left some very nice comments on some of my posts so I went to have a look at his blog, and he writes well and his posts are interesting. If you would like something new to read, check it out.

Luckily I’m only having the average level of stress about work right now. I’ve done all that anyone expected from me for monthly goals, and I’m getting a pretty good start on June, even if it isn’t quite as much as I had hoped. The commute is still awful. It just takes too long, and therefore cuts into either my sleep or my morning routine time.

What I’m really stressed about is (surprise!) money. When the Press hired me full time, and I calculated how much money I would make every month, I completely forgot that I would be taking home far less because now they would actually take taxes out. Which means I won’t be able to catch up on my debt sources nearly as fast as I thought I would.

In addition, I got one of those “you own us taxes” notices, which, DUH. The IRS, I swear, is a collective idiot. But the problem, really, is that I set up an automatic debit to pay in installments at the same time as filing my taxes, and it said that it was accepted, and I got a mailing a bit later that said to wait to contact them about it because sometimes it doesn’t process the first month. The first month it was set to pay was this month, around the twentieth or so, I think. As far as I can tell it didn’t come out. Obviously they want their money. But they should have a damn system that shows them who already was responsible enough to set up payments and therefore shouldn’t be bothered with extra stupid things in the mail.

This reminds me of trying to figure out the financial side of studying abroad. When they didn’t have a payment by a certain date, they don’t send you a first notice saying “send this payment immediately” or anything like that. No, they sent something called a “Termination Notice” (meaning from the study abroad program). Of course, I panicked and called my mom, and it got sorted out and I went abroad. But then I was pissed off, because I thought their method was horrible. College students tend to be pretty stressed out, often depressed, and even more often lacking in money. And you think it’s a good idea to send them a letter saying their plans for next semester are just about to fall apart? Honestly, it seems pretty sick to me.

Even though it’s not something I really want to do, I’m kind of feeling an urge to go live on a hippie commune where everything is done on the barter system and I can trade spontaneous poetry for a backrub (or, something).

Lately

Hello!

…nope, still nothing. Sorry. Writing takes TIME and MOTIVATION, and, more importantly, they both have to happen simultaneously. The times I most feel like writing are usually 1. at work, or 2. during my morning commute. (Never the evening commute, because I’m too tired by then.) So, although I’ve had a number of good ideas and tons of moments of stroking my chin thinking, “I should really work on writing,” I haven’t been productive at all.

I did, however, find this link about being an internet content creator, which is really entertaining. It’s a little bit long, but it will only take you a few minutes to read. The Oatmeal is pretty cool. Very cute animation, clever humor (but not pretentiously clever). I enjoy looking at it from time to time.

A few more food adventures have happened, which you can read on my other blog. The blog evolution process has begun: No-Recipe Life will be the dwelling place for all of my life and food goings-on, and this site will become devoted to actual creative writing, rather than the glorified livejournal I’ve sometimes thought it is… I will not be going back to delete previous journal-style posts, but from now on it will be strictly writing with the occasional update-y post, like this one. If you like hearing about what I do with my time and random crap like that, hang out on No-Recipe Life and you will.

My last post was a sort of experimental multi-media idea. I had these thoughts pop up while Running Up That Hill played in my head, and I figured it would work better if I posted the video along with the text. As a side note, you should go check out the Placebo and Within Temptation covers of that song. Both are very good.

If I try really hard, I might be able to shake off some of the life-stress, and then it might be easier to convince myself to write. For now I think I’ll just try to make this headache go away.