Friday, 30 November 2012

50.211 words later

I started Nanowrimo on 2nd of November after a moment of contemplating. Will I be able to do it? I learnt about nanowrimo last year but it was too late to join in. This year, I had a note in my diary.
However, I wasn't sure if I am ready. But the fact that I am pregnant was a great motivator. If I don't get myself to do it now, will I even think about it next year?
So I started and now, on the November 30, I am not frantically typing away trying to catch up on my word count, I printed my certificate (how silly but nice) yesterday. I was pretty much on target and I didn't even write every day. OK, I did mention in my last post that I worked with an idea already scribbled in an outline, but yesterday, with the end in near and knowing I need only some 1600 words, I suddenly felt lack of inspiration. What to do with the character? There was an outline but it needed to change, she was having to decide on something and I am not ready to decide now. I could not afford to wait for the muse to sit next to me and whisper to my ear, I suppose all muses were overbooked this November anyway.
I sat myself by the computer and scribbled away. Then, considering I am not really moving the character on, I looked up my word count and there it was: 50211. Middle of the chapter of an unfinished book but who cares right now?
There was pile of laundry, muddy floor, dishes, empty fridge, unanswered phone, mails, pile of papers and books and a long to - do list hanging by my desk. Cat was watching me: 'Where is my play time?' I logged to my nanowrimo profile straight away.
I did it, I managed to write over 50000 words and built foundation of a novel. I realized how doable it is. I am one of those who believes there is a novel in everyone of us and I like to write but thanks to this project I was committed and had the discipline to work continuously. And I am still in a good health, but I noticed my baby doesn't enjoy long sessions by the desk. I can not sit and write for hours, I have to take breaks and do other things in between. My cat survived, my husband is alive, too, and proud of me.
Yesterday I just felt the need to stop fussing about fictional characters for a while and attend to other things. As much as I tried to organize myself I couldn't do everything perfectly. When I want to be great at what I do my writing usually has to wait. Today I am enjoying the strange feeling of freedom and try to attend all my other tasks, but I am very slow indeed, looking out of the window more than anything, enjoying the cold weather and warm house, drinking tea and eating biscuits, thinking about christmas preparations that are ahead.
I know I will have to bring myself back to my characters and to my writing and carry on with the story but not today! I firmly believe that nanowrimo taught me enough about discipline and that my book will not be forgotten. There is a looming deadline - the birth of my baby. Will I finish it before end of March? It would be great. Will I write 50000 words in December? Hmmmm..... Good question.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Half way through and laughing

I was told Nanowrimo is exhausting and challenging. So far I consider Nanowrimo my best friend. A friend who doesn't take excuses and make me work hard, see my project through and be consistent. It isn't simple, but who is looking for that?
November came to its second half and I passed 31000 words mark. I may have a little bit easier job thanks to an idea and an outline I created for it long ago. There isn't only a beginning or an inspiration in my head. I was warned that many people loose their track in the second week of November. I didn't experience it, but I believe it is thanks to the fact that I have a base to work on. If I was sitting by my computer every day in a hope that I will find an inspiration to progress my story further, I may well be one of those who suffer badly, maybe even give up. To have a glimpse of a beginning of an idea for a book and try to write in a month is hard. I have a middle and possibly an end.
I consider myself lucky then, even so lucky, that I gave myself a weekend off. And although today I didn't work as hard as I could, I am still safe. If I will carry on at least as fast as I do now I will make the 50000 words deadline by the end of the month. At the moment, I don't worry about what will happen after. I assume I will need more words to finish, then I will start revising and then.... I will see when I am there. What I am afraid of is: will I keep it up? Will I be still as consistent as I am so far without the daily word count updates, the graph showing me my progress, the forums and pep talks? I never met anyone who is organizing or taking part in nanowrimo, but throughout all of this month I have a wonderful feeling of being part of something big, or a part of a family.
I had a good week last week because of few reasons. My cold passed and left behind some nasty but manageable cough. And my dear husband left for a week to work away from home. It meant quiet house, no cleaning and no cooking. Whatever I prepared to eat would last for days and the house is somehow tidier whenever he isn't around. So I worked pretty well.
I felt so confident that I gave myself a weekend off. On Saturday I was simply exhausted. We needed to make a big weekly shopping, there was lots of laundry and some general up keep to do, but in the afternoon I found myself dozing of. Remembering that I am pregnant and allowed to be tired I had a lovely lazy afternoon and evening without even opening my computer. The same was on Sunday, even more relaxed, just a brisk walk, papers, bit of cooking and baking and watching TV. I felt strange and on Sunday a little guilty, too. But the break did help me to gather my strength and carry on even without a word count advantage I would create if I worked during the weekend.
Some writers in discussions refer to themselves as nano - hobo. They work so hard on their novels that they skip showers and exist on coffee, sandwiches, junk food or ready meals. I can not function like that. During my lazy weekend I didn't get myself to write or do much because I was in this slow - hobo mood. I must get myself going, put myself together and fill my day with things to do including writing. Or I laze around, but that means doing nothing, not even picking one thing to focus on.
I am back by the computer today, as usually knowing I could do better and write more, but I decided to blog as I need to be consistent with everything, not only nanowrimo. The project is great because it forces me to find time to write even on days I am too busy with another things. And when I don't make it I know I have to catch up. If I was simply working on the book I would probably write twice a week and consider myself lucky.
Apparently it takes 42 days to create a habit out of something we do. November only has 30 days. So next month, with the upcoming Christmas and all the craziness around it I will have to use serious will power to give myself the kicking and make it to the end. I don't want to have my first baby and a waiting list of unfinished projects in my diary. I want to be ahead so I can focus on mothering without the feeling of guilt or losing out. My kicking baby will probably be my next motivator once nanowrimo is finished.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

My NaNoWriMo time

I decided to join the nanowrimo this year and assumed that it will keep me too busy to do anything else. Nanowrimo is a wonderful challenge, it means: national novel writing month. The aim is to write a novel within a month. What more can a procrastinating writer like me ask for?
While usually I would start working on a story with a great enthusiasm, I would surely get disturbed and put the writing aside while I am taking care of another things. Well, not now. I have a deadline.
To introduce myself, I am a little bit of a free spirit and a housewife. On top of writing a book I am also 20 weeks pregnant with my first child. To join Nano this year made perfect sense, next year will be very busy. I can leave my dear husband to his own devices and focus on my own project. As long as I remember to feed the cat (it is my cat and he doesn't like cats. So just emptying the tray while I am pregnant is a BIG sacrifice. Just to let you know the tray hardly ever gets used, our cat likes to go out and do what she has to do, but never mind) life is good. But once I have a baby there will be a great responsibility and much less me time.
I had a very slow summer and early autumn because the first month of my pregnancy were all about being tired and sick. I basically became a zombie. Just to do simple daily tasks felt like a great challenge. I did what I had to do and waited to get better. I may write about the journey to my pregnancy sometimes later, it is a story by itself anyway.
But while I was zombiing around I thought that once I will get better my life will be more quiet with the cold dark days so I should do something about my life long ambition to write. And here I am trying to compose one chapter at a day. I am not a bored housewife, I do have other projects and things to do, so it is not always easy but it is fine.
However, just being pregnant is like a full time job and I feel almost guilty for taking myself away from the biggest change in my life (at this time). We are at the stage now when we are telling it to people, it is about time to let everyone know plus it is starting to show so I am bombarded by questions: are you starting with your nursery? do you have a name yet? what is your birth plan? are you doing ante natal classes - pregnancy classes - aqua natal classes? do you have this or that book? do you know about this or that website? My husband and I decided to take it easy and start panicking and refurbishing later when we know there is a new member of our family virtually behind the corner. But all this well meant advice is making us (or at least me) feel like that we are horribly behind. There is so much to do, to plan to prepare, to read! I feel like the most selfish mother in the world because I want to use my last months of freedom to write o novel. Well I planned an intensive yoga course and few hikes but I gladly gave those up for the well being of  my future child.
Anyway, here I am going towards 17000 words out of the 50000 task. I hope I will make it. Of course, it will only be a beginning, there will be lost of editing and proof reading and rewriting and I am not even thinking about approaching agents or publishers (YET).
But I hope that this blog will help me to summarize my thoughts on beginnings of writing and beginnings of motherhood. Spending lots of time at my desk (or in bed as I am down with a cold - just week after my flu shot - how lucky) makes me want to join the great world web and find some friends. So I am blogging, and tweeting, and facebooking and enjoying myself.