Charlotte Rains Dixon  

I Almost Quit Nanowrimo

Last week was rough for me.

I was distracted by the election news and I didn’t get a lot done.  My daily habit is to rise early, get coffee and spend a few minutes checking on what happened over night before getting to the page. This early morning writing is when I wrack up the words on my novel. And since I’m doing Nanowrimo this month, getting the words in is really important.

But last week distraction got the better of me. I’d click around to see what had happened and get lost for an hour or more reading election coverage and trying to find some hope.

And by this past weekend, I was seriously discouraged.  Up until election day, I’d been cruising along on my Nanowrimo project and enjoying it.  My goal was to hit 2,000 words a day, which gave me wiggle room in case I missed a day or so along the way.  But I hadn’t factored in disaster.

And so by Saturday, I decided it was best just to quietly quit.

But then I realized that if I did that I was letting everything that I stand against win.  I let hatred, and anger, and fear win. Because all of those things are the opposite of creativity.  My creativity is the very core of me, and if I quit that, I’ve quit myself.

And so I sat down on Saturday afternoon and forced myself to write 2,000 words.  A few hundred words in I realized I was enjoying myself.  That, while this fast draft is really awful in places, in others it is not half bad.  And then I did what creatives everywhere do: I got up and did it again on Sunday and then again this morning.

I’m not as far behind as I thought. (When I’m discouraged, I tend not to see things realistically.) As of this morning, I’ve got a little over 22,000 words, which puts me about 1K behind.  And I’ve got a secret weapon up my sleeve–Millie Thornton’s 10K day for writers is coming up this week and I’ve signed up to participate this Wednesday. I hope to make up my word count and put some words in the novel-writing bank–because Thanksgiving is coming up next week and that’s another big distraction. (But at least I don’t have to cook this year.)

I may not be able to control politics, but I can control what I can do.  And what I can do is put words on the page one after another after another.

What about you? Are you doing Nanowrimo? How is it going for you?


0 thoughts on “I Almost Quit Nanowrimo

  1. Don Williams

    I know how you feel. I’ve been away for over two months, and mostly without a computer to boot. I’ve been so tired (I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome) and haven’t been able to read let alone write. Hope you back in swing soon and your next novel if finished soon. I know how guilt tripped we can get if we get sidetracked.

    1. Charlotte Rains dixon

      Oh Don, I CFS is the pits, from what I hear. Sending you tons of love and good thoughts.

  2. mitziflyte

    I definitely understand how you felt/feel. I wanted to crawl under the covers and hide. But that would have accomplished nothing, especially for my writing.
    My daughter had some wise words: Get up, get your coffee, and start writing before you check emails or social media. I’ve been doing that for the last few days and it’s working. I get my daily goal and more done by 9. Then I go on Facebook or whatever and read mails.
    I’m hoping that my new routine goes beyond November. I need to “just do it” for no one but myself.
    Keep moving forward and keep working in all the ways you can. That’s the way to get through anything.

    1. Charlotte Rains dixon

      Thanks, Mitzi. And you have a very wise daughter. I have lately found myself shying away from any of the news sites–and I used to check them several times a day. I’m just trying to get words on the page at this point. Thank you for the excellent advice.

  3. J.D.

    I’m not in it; this is not a good time for me to jump in. The idea of writing all those words in one month appeals to me but not this time. The election took a lot out of me as well, and I am not a zealot. On the plus side, I’ve been reading.

    1. Charlotte Rains dixon

      Glad you’ve been reading. Any recommendations?

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