Wednesday, November 28, 2012


You may have noticed that my little NaNoWriMo word counter thingie hasn't updated in a few days.  Well, there's a reason for that!  I took a little NaNo break.  I don't feel I need to justify why I took this break to the internet, but I am anyway, simply because I feel like I need to say it "out loud" (vampire) to remember.

First and foremost, November has been my busiest month.  Ever.  Well, ever in 2012.  We went out of town every single weekend, to my in-laws and Charleston and a JMU football game and Thanksgiving in Brooklyn, where we had tons of plans that didn't really allow for me to have any writing time.  I tried to write as much as I could, and I actually had one good night in Charleston where the words flowed pretty well, but mostly, my brain was humming from all the busy times and I couldn't concentrate.

And this is part of my problem.  I tend to get bogged down in details sometimes, and I can't just put in a placeholder word until I know what needs to be there.  I'll fall down a rabbit hole of researching what kind of clothing a certain character would wear, which turns into researching that time period and hairstyles and small towns and bowling alleys and suddenly, I've wasted an hour without writing a single word.  By then, I've lost my train of thought, and it's like swimming through molasses to get back on track.

My other big issue is that I didn't do a ton of plotting on this, instead choosing the method of writing by the seat of my pants, or pantsing.  I've never pantsed before (that's a bizarre phrase...) but I thought I'd give it a shot.  Unfortunately, I think I've pantsed myself into a corner.  Mostly, I don't think I knew the characters well enough when I started, so it's turned into a bit of a cluster....  These characters deserve better than that, better than me shoehorning them into a situation and saying things they wouldn't ever say.  I became focused on the word count rather than the content, so I'm fairly certain I wrote a BUNCH of scenes just to have something to say instead of writing the story forward.  Also, I get trapped in my own head a lot, and that's where the doubt monsters live, and MAN those bastards will not SHUT UP.  When that happens, especially when all of this happens at once, I shut down completely, and I will lie on the sofa staring at episodes of 30 Rock while eating peanut butter by the spoonful and communicating in a series of grunts, moans, and wails.  It's terrifyingly attractive.

Oh, and I have books to read and reviews to write and a job that tends to demand a lot from me and tons of other personal things that I'm not getting into on the internet.

So I decided to take a step back, at least for a week (which started last Friday).  I'm still finishing this draft, absolutely.  I'd like to have it done by the end of the year, in which I will REVISE it to SHREDS.  To shreds, you say, indeed.  I still adore the story and my poor little MC in all his wall-building glory, but I want to do right by him.  I want to feel like he's earned it, when I definitely don't feel like that right now.

So... that's my story.  I know it's a bunch of excuses for what I said is No Excuses November, but I don't really care.  This is what I need to do for myself, my health, and my sanity.  That's the most valid excuse I've ever heard.


  1. Hey, 32,000 words is 32,000 words more than you had on November 1. I totally hear you on the self-care front. And it sounds like you had a pretty awesome November (which is important too! Life!) :) Glad you're taking care of yourself. Deciding to slow down and making the space for that - and not feeling guilty for it - can be just as difficult as pushing through, in my opinion, but it's probably better for you in the long run.

    1. Thank you for your VERY kind words-- they are much appreciated and very much full of truth.