We’re halfway through NaNoWriMo! How’s everyone doing?
I hope you’re all doing well with your NaNo progress, because I very much am not. Oops. Here’s what my graph looks like:
Not great, Bob.
I haven’t written yet today, but I’m currently at 15,201 words, whereas the target for today is 26,672. I’m over 11k words behind at halfway through the month.
For the first time since 2013, I don’t know if I’m going to finish NaNoWriMo. I hate that so, so much, but I’m trying to be okay with it.
I thought that once we got through election week—probably the most stressful week of my life, frankly—it would be smooth sailing. But even now on the other side, I don’t feel inspired or creative or any of the things you want to feel if you’re trying to write a novel in a month. I just feel exhausted.
See, the problem is, once I set a goal for myself, I will tear myself to pieces if that’s what it takes to reach it. I spent a large part of this year working on the second draft of my dragon novel (partly as an escape from the real world), and I pushed myself hard to finish that before November. Then I gave myself less than a week to rest and, oh, also plan out an entire new novel to write for NaNoWriMo.
All year I’ve been telling myself that, when it comes to writing, I have to meet these goals, because I can’t let 2020 win. Anything less than success would be admitting that I’ve lost somehow, and if I slip in any way, I beat myself up about it mercilessly.
And you know what the most ironic part of all of this is? The novel that I’m writing for NaNoWriMo is literally all about people who expect too much of themselves and destroy themselves in the process of striving to hit impossible standards! Life imitates art.
I keep reminding myself that I almost always feel like I’m going to fail at about halfway through NaNoWriMo; however, I’ve never been over 10k behind on my word count goal before. There’s always a chance that I’ll make a miraculous comeback and finish strong, but this year it just feels like there’s too much working against me—my ongoing insomnia, working in retail at the start of a very stressful holiday season, the fact that I can’t write anywhere but my house, the world in general.
I’m burnt out. And I think I need to be more realistic about my expectations for myself. I might not finish NaNoWriMo for the first time in seven years, and I hate it, and I have to be okay with it.
Anyway! That was a lot of feelings and now I’m very uncomfortable! So thanks for reading. *fingers guns* I’m going to go retreat into my hole again and not be vulnerable again for at least another calendar year.
Moving on to my NaNo project itself…I’m enjoying it despite struggling with everything else in my life! I’m 15k words in, but I’m still kind of waiting for the plot to properly show up, thanks to the fact that I definitely didn’t do enough planning going into this (another factor that’s made this writing process difficult). But still, these characters are fun to write.
I talked a little more about it in my last writing update, but essentially this novel is set at a prestigious boarding school and follows the POVs of three girls during their senior year. Also, there are monsters.
Allow me to introduce you to my three main characters! (picrew icons by scuff scotch)
- the new girl this year
- really into fashion and historical costuming
- super hardworking and ambitious
- has Very Strong Opinions About Everything
- looks like a Hufflepuff but lowkey a Slytherin
Here’s a fun lil mood board I made for her:
- Flora’s roommate
- very popular; almost everyone in the school has a crush on her probably
- an artiste
- charming and friendly and overall just a really nice person??
- doesn’t believe in herself
- from New York City and mentions it all the time
- a bit of a loner (supposedly by choice)
- doesn’t do well in school because she doesn’t bother to try
- theatre kid™
- incredibly snarky, especially when the situation does not at all call for snark
- enjoys poking her nose where it doesn’t belong
- drinks iced coffee like it’s water
So those are my characters! I’ll leave you with a few songs on my writing playlist to get me in the mood for telling this story:
- Runaway by AURORA
- And all this time I have been lying / Oh, lying in secret to myself / I’ve been putting sorrow on the farthest place on my shelf
- Hunger by Florence + The Machine
- Oh and you in all your vibrant youth / How could anything bad ever happen to you? / You make a fool of death with your beauty
- Icarus by Bastille
- Look out to the future, but it tells you nothing / So take another breath
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s your writing going? Tell me a little about your characters!