When it comes to creativity, January and December are never great months for me. I spend December—what little isn’t taken up by holiday prep and recovery—in full planning mode, which is good, but it does turn into an excuse not to do the actual work. And January… despite my enthusiasm going in, it always takes me a bit of time to find my rhythms again. Add to that the one-two hit of the new year and my birthday, and I’m suddenly questioning everything.
That’s actually why I’m working on this post right now, when I’d already blocked out this time for writing fiction. I need to step back and take an objective look at some of this stuff, and talking it out here always seems to help me clarify my thoughts. (If you’re not here for my creative-process rambling, consider that your warning. I won’t feel bad if you skip this post.)
I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to escape from 2018, but… here we are! 2019! Only a week in and already so weird but… so far, things are marginally better than last year, so I’ll take it.
It’s been a week since NaNoWriMo ended, and I haven’t looked at - haven’t even thought about - my draft since then.
That’s a good thing.
… well, that was a month, wasn’t it?
Leaving aside NaNoWriMo for now (since I’ve been talking about it all month, and I’ll be talking about it even more on Friday; but if you do want a recap: the story has been fighting me, but I made it through), it… wasn’t too bad.
Not great, obviously. I didn’t get to work on a lot of things that I’d hoped to spend time on in November, like the next round of revisions on The Black Sun. Or photography.
But last month, I said that my mission for November was to sit down and think about what I really want to accomplish, in both writing and photography. Everything else aside, if I did that - or if I made significant progress with that - the month would be a good one.
I was this close to giving up on NaNo yesterday.
I had just under six thousand words to go. No problem: I had two days, and I’ve been hitting over 3000 words/day for the past week.
… and then the power went out.
That is the problem I’m having with NaNo this year, and the reason I’m thinking about maybe not doing it again next year: I’ve been writing at a pace that just isn’t sustainable for me. If I’d been able (or willing) to write every. single. day, I’d be fine, but… I can’t sustain that, either. I seem to be at my best writing around 2 hours or 2000 words a day - whichever comes first - and writing 4-5 days a week. More than that, and I start to risk burnout, and I don't want to go down that road again.
So. I’m still about 4000 words below where I ‘should’ be with this story.
But considering my slow start to the month, and the fact that I’ve been taking weekends off, that’s not terrible. I’ve been averaging about 2500 words a day; if I added one more short writing session every day, I could push that up to 3000 with no difficulty, and still only have to write Monday through Friday.
I’d rather not. I’d rather keep going the way I have been, and I do have a few things I’d like to do with my time besides write, but I could.
… and I’m back on track!
I mean, I’m still behind the ‘official’ target for NaNo - after that one terrible day last week, I wound up taking the weekend off entirely - but the last five days have been really good. I’ve been meeting my personal goals, and today I closed out the first act.
So… this hasn’t been the best week.
It’s been two months since I did a general update on how all my creative projects are going, so I’ve got a lot of ground to cover today. And since this day is already shaping up to be kind of awful (they’re rebuilding the balcony below mine, which means noisy generators and sawing through concrete, I’ve got my first serious cold of the season and so my attention span is pretty much nonexistent, and they’re going to be testing the fire alarms at some point today, and that’s always a joy), I’m going to try to make it quick.
When I did my last update, back in August, I was… going through some stuff.