This week I have discovered that I am grateful for things I has been overlooking when I started Camp NaNoWriMo.
I am grateful for my train travel to work. It helps break my day into manageable chunks, and gives me permission to use my time in those chunks. I can write on the train, and it makes me appreciate time I would usually find a burden.
I am grateful I set myself modest goals. As I wrote, I found the old style of writing I had thought vanished began to emerge. It isn’t the same, it lacks the brightness and sparkle I was used to. But it is there, building on one little idea onto another until the ‘short story’ jas hit nearly 10k words. Not a bad effort really.
And I am grateful for this blog, because it makes me act in a mindful fashion. Instead of losing myself in the feeling of the moment and being overwhelmed, I am able to step back and look for the lesson I could be learning. How do I use this moment to make the right thing easy?
The universe has thrown amazing distraction at me during the last week, which I am so pleased with I dare not say much in case it comes to naught.
Instead, here is a cute bunny picture!
Duchess had been helping me clean, as demonstrated by the torn up newspaper. She is all tuckered out!
This week has been a drag out fight between my determination to write and the universe’s ideas. The universe is winning.
As is usual for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have caught a cold and become distracted by the goings on of the world. Today, I am going to have a horse riding lesson, and my head is full of horses. It makes it very hard to focus on the characters in my short stories and their predicament. Especially when I have reached that perplexing contradiction of being reluctant to write now the confrontation has arrived.
Looking over my writing past, I have found I shy away from moments of great drama, conflict, or high stakes. They matter, and the pressure to get them right is intense. So I avoid them, and leave it as problem for Future Editor Me. Of course, this usually means the piece sits in the proverbial draw and I am unlikely to look at it unless I am stuck for news ideas.
After Camp, I am thinking of writing a list of all the stories I have in various stages with the plan of using procrastination in my favour. If I don’t want to work on one project, there must be something less disagreeable on the list to do.
That’s how I ended up booking a riding lesson, after all.
Dusty and Duchess sharing a treat, because bunnies are cute.
Chicken soup is good for the soul, right?
I have to admit it, I’ve finally hit that typical Week Two Slump that was always coming. I made it through until three days ago. And then I opened my laptop, went to write words, and just couldn’t.
Week Two has arrived with a belated whammy, complete with some sort of cold-thing. I knew that was coming, I have seen people have missing for days at work. Some members of my dear family and extended family have been almost bed-ridden with it. And I had thought I would somehow magically avoid it because writing is somehow magic…
On the up side, I have written nearly 10k words. Considering the week before I was nearly contemplating what to do with my life without writing, it’s a pretty significant step forward.
I have two ‘finished’ short stories, and two more in the works. For someone who struggles to get a story down in less than 75k, that’s an impressive start too.
And a big, huge, amazing thank you to everyone who has followed this blog, because there are 50 of you! And I am so excited! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
So I have had a massive, wonderful week, and I am going to spend the next week trying to fight off this cold. And, of course, writing words.
Maybe I can have a lead character whose name doesn’t start with ‘S’…
This week, I am going to go through the not small supply of chicken soup in the freezer, and keep chipping away at the words.
Duchess and Dusty being affectionate.
I am confused, in a good way, and I am blaming Camp NaNoWriMo.
Somehow, despite my protestations that I am terrible at short stories, they seemed to like me in the first week on Camp.
Between the quiet but stubborn Stasia and her cat, and determined Samuael, I actually managed to write every day I sat down to do so. Not the word count needed for a whole NaNoWriMo, but enough to make me feel like I had achieved something.
I will see how the next week goes, since Week Two is notorious for changing the landscape in unexpectedly difficult ways, but I have a fledgling hope now.
The real secret to this success, I hazard, has less to do with the magic of Camp, and more to do with using limitations as advantages. By restricting my writing time to very distinct time periods, in this case the train trips to and from work, I seem to have condensed my creativity into usuable blocks. Another win for Camp!
I’m not the only one condensing important activities. A break in the rain is always to be taken advantage of.