Let’s just pretend I’m not a little late with this blog post, shall we?
In Week 3 I both caught up and then fell behind again. I managed to catch up after falling a bit behind in Week 2, but then hit a scene that gave me three days of trouble. Three days! Three days of not meeting my word goal and struggling. Three days of feeling like this was the end, this was where I ran out of steam, this was there the novel died. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but that’s what it felt like in my head for those three days. I wasn’t good enough. Maybe I would never be good enough.
Why do brains do this to us?
There are a number of authors I follow on various social media sites who have made an effort to show their followers not just the good days, but also the hard days. Days like the ones I had. It’s hard to remember it when I’m drowning beneath the bad thoughts, but those bad days are part of the process too. I think if I wasn’t in the middle of Camp NaNo I might have been able to remind myself of that, but with a deadline and a goal—self-imposed though that goal may be—I wasn’t able to break out of that spiral.
But I knew I needed to keep moving forward. I’ve said before that I have trouble putting tension between my protagonists (it’s something I’m working on) and this scene—a scene I knew was necessary, even if I didn’t know exactly how it needed to happen specifically—needed to have plenty of that. I just couldn’t find the tension. I added words and crossed words out, and I kept moving forward. But it was tiny movements, not the leaps forward I wanted. I’m not entirely sure that I found the tension, but I’ve at least given this scene some structure to work with when I start editing this manuscript.
In the meantime, I gave myself permission to write something else—not another project, but a scene that would follow the scene I was struggling with. It might not strictly be adhering to my plot, and it might get cut (or at least significantly shortened) should this novel go on to publication.
But that’s ok. Why? A few reasons: 1) It’s something fun, 2) it’s something I’m excited to write, and 3) it’s something that will still allow me to do some character development. The story continued on.
- Weekly Word Count: 16,259/16,947
- Current Word Count: 16,259/25,000
- Manuscript Total: 53,511/80,000
It’s at this point that I take a look at my goal and consider whether or not I’m going to make it. (Or, as Camp NaNo calls it, I do a Goal Check Gut Check.) I won’t make any decisions yet—there are three days in “Week 5” that I can still adjust if needed—so for now I’ll concentrate on writing as much as I can. I think I can catch up again before the end of Week 4, so I’m going to give that a try.