In case anyone hasn’t noticed, lately I’ve been slacking somewhat (for example I didn’t get to do a Short Story this past Sunday). However, as far as excuses go I have the second best one — I’m attempting to do Camp NaNoWriMo. Which is the evil twice-removed cousin of NaNoWriMo, which would then be the stepmom or mother of evil and the very best possible excuse for slacking. If you’ve never tried either of the two, the best way for me to describe them to you is as monthly tortures composed of coffee, stress, self-loathing, coffee, random tantrums, mood swings, coffee, keyboard bashing, self-bribing with cake, and did I mention coffee? But if you do get through all of that, you’ll probably have the joy of owning a written piece of a decent length and very crappy quality. That’s why usually we take a short break to replenish our batteries, after which we continue the torture but now by editing instead of writing.
If you’re extremely fortunate you’ll have an amazing product to be proud of that you can show off to others who’ll look at you with awe. If you’re less fortunate you’ll find comfort in the fact that you’ve done the impossible — you’ve produced a novel in a month’s time. Sure, it may be something that you’ll hide in the most secluded corner of your computer forevermore because it doesn’t deserve to see the light of day ever again, but you’ve had fun and experience and those always come in handy. I’m getting off-topic though, the idea of this post is to illustrate how usually the first week (which I’ve now survived, woo!) tends to go.
- Day #1: Like stealing candy from a baby.
It starts as in the fables, this new land you’re discovering is gorgeous in every way and as peaceful as it can be. There is no sign of trouble anywhere and it’s a beautiful day so you even do your writing with as much leisure as possible. You’ve been preparing mentally for this for a while now and you’re quite sure in your capabilities and the plot you’re going for.
- Day #2: Everything is great and whimsical.
Another day of productive work, you haven’t come across any issues yet and you feel this is your year. This is the year when you out-write all your friends and produce the best story humanity has ever seen.
- Day #3: A few bumps on the road can’t stop me.
It can’t all be that pretty, you must have some rough patches and at least they make for a good story. You reassure yourself you can make it through this and a small drawback isn’t stopping you.
- Day #4: When I set my mind to it, I’m unstoppable.
You’re ready to move beyond yesterday’s trouble, you sit yourself down with a bucket of coffee by your side and you do some quality catching up. Heck, you even get ahead so you have less to write tomorrow!
- Day #5: Okay, maybe I lied a bit yesterday.
You already start feeling the weight on your
shoulders fingers. It’s day 5 and you want to keep going strong but you desperately need a break so you attempt writing what you can without pushing your limits. You’ve earned some comfort and you can always catch up the next day, right?
- Day #6: Why is this happening to me.
I’ll catch up tomorrow is the most basic mistake, yet somehow you manage to throw yourself under that same bus every year. You even fall for that multiple times in the same month. You’re tired, you have other things to do, your mind is blocked, you feel like the whole world is on fire, and you start regretting you decided to do this.
- Day #7: How am I doing this, and can I please keep doing it for another 3 weeks?
You have no idea how you managed it or where you found the will from, but you sit down and catch up for the whole week. Was it the fact that you hate losing this early? Was it because you’re competitive and you wanted to show your friends you’re not a loser? Or was it simply because you promised yourself a whole big pile of awesome pizza which you’ll eat all by yourself? Doesn’t matter, so as long as the job gets done.
I guess it also doesn’t matter that by the end of the first week you’ll already be suffering from typing disease, where you’re prone to do some ‘typing‘ no matter where you are or what you’re doing.