So I hit the 5th day of nanowrimo. I tend to start off slow and play catch up for the rest of the month, so my 4181 word count is not unusual. If I get in the zone, I can get a couple thousand words out, but – as I’m sure you know – it’s quite hard to find dedicated time to write with two kids. The only time I have is in the early morning, which is the time I use to read my Bible (although I don’t always get that since my kids sometimes wake up early). The only other long chunk of time again is after the kids go to bed. However, this is also the only time I get to spend alone with my husband all day, even if we are just watching TV. So, I’m stuck with writing piecemeal throughout the day.
So far, this is how my progress has been:
Nov 1: 1224 words, written in three blocks of time – some while my kids were in school, some around lunch, and some right after they went to bed. This is pretty impressive considering that my son didn’t have a nap, I volunteered at my daughter’s school for 2 hours, and I had my Bible study meeting that night. Oh, and I also needed to bring snack to my Bible study, as well as make slime for my daughter’s school carnival booth.
Nov 2: 0 words. By Friday I was completely wiped out. Not only had I had a busy Thursday, the day before that had been Halloween (Duh) and I had to do a lot of prep for that. Friday morning, I dropped off my son at preschool, did some shopping, then hauled a pop up tent and a folding table to my daughter’s school. I wasn’t able to drop them off at the office, so I had to walk both through the house to the teacher’s classroom. Awesome for my sciatica, right? By that point I had a short amount of time at home, where I decided to read because that was all my brain could process. I picked up my son, we did our lunch and nap time (both of us!), and then we went to my daughter’s school, where we spent 3 hours exploring the fall Carnival. My kids had too much sugar and went a little crazy on the bounce houses. After about 2 and a half hours, I was so done. I fell asleep early, no words having been put to page.
Nov 3: 0 words. On Saturday we had a get-together with friends for my husband’s upcoming birthday. Normally, I would have spent the week preparing the house, getting everything clean, and prepping the food that I could – however, Halloween and all the other events this past week prevented me from preparing in my usual manner. Thus, we had a significant amount of cleaning, shopping, and food preparation to do before we were ready to open the doors for friends at 3:30. We had people in and out all afternoon and evening, finally wrapping up the night around 10. Of course by this point, I was completely exhausted. Again.
Nov 4: 2902 words. I honestly have no idea how I managed to get so many words out yesterday. My husband was excited because the time change was going to let us sleep in, but of course that’s not how kids work. My kids and I got up early, and despite having an extra hour to prepare for church, we were still a few minutes late. After regular service, we went to foundations classes, though I spent the hour working in the nursery, with my son (who is an absolute terror when he hasn’t gotten enough sleep). Of course with the week we’d had, he definitely hadn’t had enough sleep, and he was acting accordingly. By the time we were ready to head home, I gave him to the count of 3 to follow me, and he chose to run the opposite direction, so I had to pick him up and walk out the door. Of course, my son wasn’t too happy with that, so he proceeded to wail on me with his little angry fists. Our house is only 5 minutes from church, but by the time I got home I was done (again). I tagged in my husband and checked out. I was doing a great job of not writing and avoiding getting anything productive done, writing out otherwise, until my husband decided he should probably get some of his billing done. Then I felt guilted into working, even though he told me I should rest. Of course, like all good writers, when I have the time and opportunity to actually write, I found anything to do that wasn’t writing. I decided I really should finish up my Etsy orders so that I could concentrate on writing for the rest of the week, so that’s what I did. Plus, working on my Etsy orders has the added benefit of getting to watch something on Netflix. Documentaries are my favorite, so I might’ve worked a bit longer than I needed to just so that I could watch an extra episode of Making a Murderer season 2. But that’s beside the point. Once we were ready for dinner, I stopped working, and then once the kids are in bed, I got to writing. I had managed to write a couple hundred words earlier that day, but I didn’t hit my stride until I got a great idea for a scene, which I wanted to finish writing before I went to bed.
In terms of plot and character development, I had a very rough outline of a plot, and an idea of the characters that I needed to fill the positions necessary to make the plot work, but I had very little idea of the characters personalities and how they would interact with each other. That’s one of the things I really enjoy discovering as I write a first draft.
The biggest thing that prevented me from getting anything written on Friday or Saturday wasn’t my busy schedule, but was a roadblock in terms of plot. I had a hard time figuring out exactly when my story should be set. I went back and forth between the Golden Age of pirates, a parallel timeline, where the story is happening in present time, but not the present universe, or a distant future where ships have needed to replace airplanes – kind of a post-apocalyptic story, if you will. I needed to talk things through with my husband Saturday night, and once I did, the answer was obvious. Once I knew I would be focusing on the Golden Age of pirates, I was able to nail down a lot more of the details that had been eluding me before. Of course, this means I will need to do a lot of research after the fact. Luckily, I have a couple good books that I would really like to be reading right now, but any time I have is being dedicated to writing, or avoiding writing. And before you ask, somehow reading doesn’t count as avoiding writing since it is preparation for that writing.
So that’s it; that’s where I am right now. I’m thoroughly enjoying my novel in progress, and I’m hoping that once it’s edited into a presentable state, others might enjoy it as well. This post has been a bit rambly and all over the place, but that’s kind of what Nano is. This is a rough draft of what could be a really awesome post, but November is for getting words out, not for editing. So true to the spirit of nanowrimo, this is unedited. Well, that’s not exactly true. I did go back and make sure that there weren’t any major typos since I’m currently using speech to text, and that comes with all sorts of crazy versions of what I’m attempting to say.
But I digress. I expect to check back in with you regarding Nano next Monday, but if you want to follow my daily progress, follow me on Facebook. Or, if you’re looking to see how I’m avoiding writing, follow my Twitter, where I’m attempting to post a haiku every day. In any case, I hope you enjoy this post. It clocks in at 1398 words, which I could have applied to my Nano project, but then, I wouldn’t actually be avoiding writing.